Unusually cold weather will take a bite out of U.S. economic growth this quarter, but a rebound seems likely on the horizon and expectations for stronger growth this year have not changed.
Economists estimate that freezing temperatures and the ice and snow storms that have blanketed much of the nation will shave as much as half a percentage point from gross domestic product in the first quarter.
That comes on top of the drag from efforts by businesses to sell off bloated inventories and a one-time hit from the expiration of benefits for the long-term unemployed.
(Read more: It's not the weather, stupid, it's the economy!)
"The slowdown is testing everyone's optimism about the economy, but so far it's just a soft patch. The economy will regain strength," said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester Pennsylvania. "Outside housing, we don't believe the recent data signal a change in fundamentals."