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First-quarter economic growth was 1.1%, falling short of expectations, but personal spending expenditures rose 3.7% to the highest level in nearly two years. Final sales of private domestic purchases – a measure of the economy that excludes trade, inventory changes and government spending – rose 2.9%, the highest since the third quarter of 2021. Government spending also contributed, registering its largest increase since the last stimulus checks went out in the first quarter of 2021. Strong spending is keeping inflation elevated, with core PCE inflation increasing from 4.4% to 4.9%.
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