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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.

Go deeper

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.