Skip to Main Content

04/26/2024 |

Economic Slowdown and Inflation Surge: Q1 2024 GDP

This is a bar chart of the current GDP data.

Economic Growth Disappoints

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a slower-than-anticipated pace of 1.6% in the January-through-March period. This figure fell short of economists’ forecasts of a 2.4% increase, highlighting a notable deceleration compared to previous quarters. Despite positive contributions from fixed investment and government spending, a decline in private inventory investment and increased imports restrained overall GDP growth.

Inflationary Pressures Intensify

In tandem with the economic slowdown, inflationary pressures intensified during the first quarter of 2024. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, a key measure monitored by the Federal Reserve, surged at a 3.4% annualized pace, marking its most significant gain in a year. Core PCE prices, excluding food and energy, rose even more sharply at a 3.7% rate, significantly surpassing the Fed’s 2% target and indicating persistent inflationary challenges.

Market Response and Outlook

The disappointing economic growth and heightened inflationary concerns initially triggered a negative market response, with futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting by over 400 points. Treasury yields surged, reflecting investors’ apprehension about the Federal Reserve’s future monetary policy decisions.

Looking ahead, economists anticipate further economic deceleration and a gradual easing of inflationary pressures as consumer spending moderates and savings rates stabilize. Traders and investors will receive another update from the Federal Reserve when they reconvene next week, April 30th – May 1st.