Q1 GDP Grows at Sluggish Rate

The U.S. Economy showed its weakest performance in three years during Q1 2017 as consumers quickly tightened their spending habits.

According the Commerce Department, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by just .7% in the first quarter. This lackluster performance falls on the heels of a 2.1% gain in Q4 to round out 2016.

All signs point to individual spending as the culprit for the sluggish output as spending only rose by .3%, a far cry from 3.5% reported in the previous quarter.

The slow growth does not come as a surprise by Wall St. as Q1 GDP expectations were at .9%, a .2% miss. Experts point to unusually high temperatures across the country putting a damper on utility bill costs.

However, the slow start to the year is not all doom and gloom. Many economists foresee a Q2 rebound in the works pointing to the strength of the labor market, continual record breaking stock prices & consumer confidence on the rise.

The above chart, created for free using the award-winning NinjaTrader Platform, showcases the Daily Natural Gas Futures Contract (NG). The abnormally warm temperatures, and lack of spending on natural gas and home heating to kick off 2017, sent the commodity into a bearish run through the end of March. However, a heat wave that extends into the summer, could make for tighter supply and demand margins. While Natural Gas futures is still trading well below its 200 day moving average, investors may be looking for the recent bullish run to continue as the weather, and potentially the economy continue to heat up.

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