Futures rise despite downwardly revised GDP

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures rose Wednesday as investors shrugged off a U.S. report that showed the economy grew at a slower pace than was initially thought during the first quarter.

Most economists see the economy picking up at a faster clip during the second half of the year and economic reports this week on manufacturing, housing and consumer confidence are still providing markets with a tail wind.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 70 points to 14,760. S&P futures added 6.6 points to 1,590.70. Nasdaq futures gained 20.25 points to 2,878.50.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first three months of the year, dragged down by lackluster consumer spending. Many believe the culprit is higher taxes, imposed at the beginning of the year.

The Commerce Department on Wednesday revised the annual growth rate for the first quarter down from its previous estimate of a 2.4 percent.

That is still a more robust growth rate than the final quarter of 2012.

China also relieved some of the drag on global markets by making an abrupt U-turn in regard to providing commercial banks with liquidity as the central bank tightens credit.

The People’s Bank of China said Monday that banks would have to monitor their cash supply and make adjustments to ensure liquidity, suggesting that it would not be actively involved.

A day later, after markets in China and across Asia plunged, the central bank said that it would act to keep credit markets functioning, if needed.

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