U.S. economic growth continued at a slower, but steady pace. U.S. GDP came in at a 2.2% annualized rate for the fourth quarter of 2018. This reading was slightly below expectations for the quarter, but similar to the 2.3% annualized rate for the same quarter last year. For the full year 2018, the economy advanced 2.9%, the most since 2015, and above 2.2% in 2017. The employment picture remained solid in Q12019 with the unemployment rate near a cyclical low of 3.8%; however, employment growth in February was a meager +20,000 after averaging a monthly gain of over +223,000 in 2018. Concerns of a slowing economy led the Federal Reserve (Fed) to sharply change its view on the path for interest rates in early 2019 by putting further rate hikes on hold, after raising rates four times in 2018.