El-Erian says weak GDP makes weather rebound more critical: interview

Reuters

By Jennifer Ablan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Weak first-quarter U.S. gross domestic product growth "makes the weather snapback hypothesis even more critical," Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz, told Reuters on Wednesday.

The former Pimco CEO and co-chief investment officer said Wednesday's report showing gross domestic product grew at just a 0.1 percent rate in the first quarter was not enough to change Federal Reserve policy, "given the uncertainties about the size of transitory factors."

The Federal Reserve will announce the decision of its most recent Fed policy meeting at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). It is expected to maintain its reduction in monthly bond purchases that have kept rates low for several years, but signal that rate increases are still far off in the future.

"The underlying strength of the U.S. economy is still insufficiently robust," said El-Erian. "And these figures will embolden the advocates of the secular 'stagnation' hypothesis."

El-Erian left Pimco this year after a high-profile clash with Pimco president Bill Gross.

(Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Writing by David Gaffen; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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