U.S. consumer spending rose at the fastest rate in three years in the first quarter of 2010, powering the economy to a 3.2% growth rate, the Commerce Department estimated Friday.
The 3.2% increase in real seasonally adjusted gross domestic product was exactly as expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. See our complete economic calendar and consensus forecast.
GDP is up 2.5% in the past year, following the worst downturn in generations. GDP rose at a 5.6% pace in the fourth quarter, primarily because of inventory reductions.
In the first quarter, by contrast, private domestic demand was the main engine of growth. Consumer spending rose at a 3.6% annual rate, while business investments in equipment and software increased at 13.4% pace.
So we're back to relying on an extended consumer for economic growth... nothing changes.