Economic activity weakened in the first quarter of the year, mostly attributed to bad weather conditions across the Northeast and West Coast port disruptions. But the economy will likely gain momentum throughout the spring, which is expected to give a lift to the ongoing housing recovery, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group.

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"We have downsized our first-quarter economic growth expectations in light of several transitory factors that weighed on consumption," says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's chief economist. "Although some momentum was lost in the first quarter as consumers remained cautious in their spending, perhaps putting an emphasis on repairing their personal balance sheets and replenishing savings, we expect that consumer spending will catch up during the second quarter and continue in subsequent months, supporting our forecast of 2.8 percent growth for the year. We believe this momentum will carry over into the housing market, as well, particularly if strong consumer income growth continues."

However, Fannie Mae economists caution that there could be some volatility, particularly with consumer spending and the financial markets, leading up to the Federal Reserve’s first expected rate hike in the coming months

Source: "Q1 Economic Growth Measures Downsized, But Expected to Spring Forward," Fannie Mae (April 20, 2015)