The U.S. economy grew at 2.3% in the first quarter, better than the consensus estimate of 2.0% but a slowdown from the near 3% growth of the prior three quarters. Persistent problems with seasonal adjustment of first quarter data and a lull in consumer activity weighed on first quarter growth. We expect U.S. growth to accelerate over the rest of the year as these temporary factors roll off, with a strong job market, fiscal stimulus, and consumer and business spending providing potential support for global demand. (LPL)
First quarter inflation data was as expected. The core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) reading for March of +2.5% was in line with consensus forecasts and up from +1.9% in the fourth quarter. Another inflation measure the Fed follows, the Employment Cost Index, rose 0.8% quarter over quarter. Private sector wages and salaries rose 2.9% year over year, the most of the expansion and following a 2.8% increase in the previous quarter. (LPL)
Wells Fargo is facing another Labor Department investigation of its retirement plan services unit. The review centers on whether the bank has been pushing participants in low cost 401(k) plans to roll holdings into more expensive IRAs at the bank. (WSJ)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Troy Reinhart.