U.S. economic growth slowed slightly more than initially thought in the first quarter amid downward revisions to inventory investment and consumer spending, but income tax cuts are likely to boost activity this year.
Gross domestic product increased at a 2.2 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said in its second estimate of first-quarter GDP on Wednesday, instead of the previously reported 2.3 percent pace. The economy grew at a 2.9 percent rate in the fourth quarter.
There are signs GDP growth gathered momentum early in the second quarter, with solid consumer spending, business investment on equipment and industrial production in April. But the housing market appears to have taken a further step back
Economists expect a $1.5 trillion income tax cut package, which came into effect in January, will spur faster economic growth this year and lift annual GDP growth close to the Trump administration's 3 percent target.
Economists had expected first-quarter GDP growth would be unrevised at a 2.3 percent pace. The government also reported that after-tax corporate profits surged at a 5.9 percent rate last quarter after increasing at a 1.7 percent pace in the fourth quarter.
That was the fastest pace of growth in profits since the first quarter of 2016 and reflected a boost from the reduction in the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. According to the Commerce Department, taxes on corporate income decreased $117.4 billion in the first quarter.