US growth slowed in the first three months of 2011 to an annualized rate of 1.8%, which is a 0.4% quarterly rise, the Commerce Department said. This compares with an annualized increase rate of 3.1% in the final three months of 2010. The hold back was blamed on corporate profits randomly contracting for the first time in more than two years.
The US Federal Reserve has cut its fiscal growth prediction for this year, citing weaker growth than expected in the first three months of the year. Chairman Ben Bernanke said he expected growth for 2011 to be between 3.1% and 3.3%, compared with the previous forecast of 3.4% to 3.9%. He also said that the fed would not pump more money into the economy after June. However he pledged the government to tackle the country’s extremely grim debt problems.