Atlanta Fed raises U.S. first quarter GDP growth view to 2.5 percent

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NEW YORK The U.S. economy is on track to grow at a 2.5 percent annualized pace in the first quarter following the latest data on home sales released last week, the Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDP Now forecast model showed on Monday. The latest first-quarter gross domestic product estimate was higher than the 2.4 percent growth rate calculated on Feb. 16, the Atlanta Fed said on its website. The regional central bank said its forecast for first-quarter real residential investment growth rose to 10.8 percent from an earlier estimate of 7.8 percent based on January's figures on new and existing home sales.

Home resales reached a 10-year high last month to an annualized pace of 5.69 million units despite rising prices and mortgage rates, the National Association of Realtors said on Feb. 22.

Two days later, the Commerce Department said new single-family home sales increased 3.7 percent at an annualized pace of 555,000 units in January.