U.S. economic data have turned south just in time for the Federal Reserve to conclude its May meeting Wednesday, when Wall Street expects the central bank to maintain interests rates at between 0.75% and 1.00%. The Fed has raised interest rates twice in the last four months.

Troubling numbers: The U.S. economy grew at just 0.7% on an annualized basis in the first quarter of 2017, a sharp decline from the previous quarter's 2.1%. What's more, inflation fell for the first time in more than a year in March, while consumer spending numbers were flat.

Why Janet Yellen won't worry: Shehriyar Antia, a former Fed economist and Chief Market Strategist at Macro Insights Group, emails Axios to argue that GDP growth will recover in the second quarter. The latest numbers, he says, were depressed by seasonal adjustments from the Commerce Department. Antia blames sluggish consumer spending growth on unseasonably warm winter weather, which produced low gas prices and utility bills. He predicts that the Fed's statement, to be issued at 2 p.m. Wednesday, "will look past recent stumbles and remain upbeat." Investors should expect another rate hike next month, he said.

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Updated 25 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it's too early to say whether next month's elections will be postponed after she announced Tuesday four people had tested positive for COVID-19 after no local cases for 102 days.

Zoom in: NZ's most populous city, Auckland, has gone on lockdown for 72 hours and the rest of the country is under lesser restrictions.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 20,188,678 — Total deaths: 738,668 — Total recoveries: 12,452,126Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 5,138,850 — Total deaths: 164,480 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.

Voters cast ballots in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Vermont

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Primary elections are being held on Tuesday in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The big picture: Georgia and Wisconsin both struggled to hold primaries during the coronavirus pandemic, but are doing so again — testing their voting systems ahead of the general election. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is facing a strong challenger as she fights for her political career. In Georgia, a Republican primary runoff pits a QAnon supporter against a hardline conservative.