WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists are trying to downplay concerns about the estimate today that's expected to show the economy stumbled to start the year.
The Commerce Department is issuing the first of three estimates of how fast the economy grew in the January-March quarter. The expectation is that growth slowed to an annual rate of around 1.1 percent, a lackluster pace that would be sharply down from a 2.6 percent annual growth rate in the previous quarter.
But economists foresee a solid rebound going forward with the end of a harsh winter that kept a lot of people and their money at home. Economists think the stronger growth should endure through the rest of the year.
In fact, many say 2014 will be the year the recovery from the Great Recession finally achieves enough growth to accelerate hiring and reduce unemployment.