NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. economy is on track to expand at a 0.9 percent annualized pace in the first quarter following the release of data on consumer spending and income in February, the Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDP Now forecast model showed on Friday.


The latest first-quarter gross domestic product estimate was slower than the 1.0 percent growth rate calculated on March 24, the Atlanta Fed said on its website.


Earlier Friday, the Commerce Department said consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, edged up 0.1 percent. That was the smallest increase since August and was weaker than a 0.2 percent rise in January.


The Atlanta Fed said its latest forecast on first-quarter real consumer spending growth fell to 0.8 percent from 1.4 percent.


On the other hand, the regional central bank's latest estimate on the drag from the trade deficit to first-quarter GDP fell to 0.16 percentage point from 0.49 percentage point.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)