First-Quarter GDP Revised Lower: Ahead of the Ticker

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The latest estimate of U.S. gross domestic product for the January to March period has been revised down to growth of 1.8% from an earlier estimate of 2.4%.

The Commerce Department attributed the revision down to less consumer spending, a decrease in exports and softer business investment. Consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the GDP figure, rose at a 2.6% annualized pace during the period, down from the 3.4% pace estimated in the previous report.

Consumer spending had grown at a 1.8% rate in the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to Reuters, economists had expected the GDP report to be unchanged. The revision marks the third estimate for the first quarter.


Carnival Corp. ( CCL) announced it is replacing its CEO Micky Arison.

Arison, who has held the post since 1979, is the son of the company's founder, Ted Arison. He will continue to serve as chairman, while fellow board member Arnold W. Donald will take over as CEO.

Carnival Cruise Lines has come under fire after a string of bad incidents have damaged the company's reputation. Last year, the Costa Concordia's sinking off the coast of Italy killed 32 people, while earlier this year passengers of the Carnival Triumph endured what were described as terrible conditions after the ship was left stalled without power in the Gulf of Mexico for days after an engine room fire. Shortly after, a backup emergency diesel generator failed on the Carnival Dream and the company was forced to cut the trip short and fly all of the ship's more than 4,000 passengers back to Florida from St. Maarten.

Carnival announced Arison's departure as the company released second-quarter profit of $41 million on lower fuel and administrative costs. That's up from $14 million the company earned during the same period last year.


Marc Rich, the billionaire "King of Commodities" who was pardoned by President Bill Clinton over tax evasion, died from a stroke in Switzerland on Wednesday. He was 78.

Rich founded the trading group that eventually became Glencore Xstrata. He fled to Switzerland in 1983 to escape charges of wire fraud, racketeering, evading more than $48 million in income taxes and violating the U.S. embargo against Iran during the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis by trading Iranian oil.

Clinton infamously pardoned him in 2001 on his last day in office and came under fire for the decision; Clinton said in an interview years later that he regretted the move.


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-- Written by Brittany Umar.

Brittany joined TheStreet.com TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.

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