US economy grew at strong 3.2% rate in first quarter

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FILE- In this April 17, 2019, file photo workers install equipment on a communications tower in Philadelphia. On Friday, April 26, 2019, the Commerce Department issues the first estimate of how the U.S. economy performed in the January-March quarter. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.2% annual rate in the first three months of the year, a far better outcome than expected, overcoming a host of headwinds including global weakness, rising trade tensions, and a partial government shutdown.

The advance in the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, marks an acceleration from a 2.2% gain in the previous October-December period. However, about half the gain reflected two factors not expected to last — a big jump stockpiling by businesses and a sharp contraction in the trade deficit.

Still, the GDP gain surpassed the 3% bar set by President Donald Trump as evidence his economic program is working. Trump is counting on a strong economy as he campaigns for re-election.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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