J.P. Morgan raises first quarter U.S. GDP forecast substantially

NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co lifted its forecast for U.S. real gross domestic product to an annualized rate of 2.9%, a large jump from its earlier 2.0% estimate, according to a note from the investment bank’s research team on Thursday. U.S. retail sales increased by the most in 1-1/2 years in March as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, the latest indication that economic growth picked up in the first quarter after a false start.

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