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First Quarter Outlook of 2023

The Commerce Department announced that the gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, rose at a 1.1 percent annual rate in the first quarter, which was down from a 2.6 percent rate in the last three months of 2022, but nonetheless represented a third straight quarter of growth after output contracted in the first half of last year. The figures are preliminary and will be revised at least twice as more complete data becomes available.  Growth in the first quarter was dragged down by weakness in housing and business investment, both of which are heavily influenced by interest rates. The Federal Reserve has raised rates by nearly five percentage points since early last year to tamp down inflation.