Economy slowed during the first quarter

The U.S. economy's growth slowed during the January-March quarter as gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.1 percent, which is the weakest pace since the end of 2012, according to The Washington Post. Economists anticipated a 1.1 percent increase.

The first-quarter figure is down compared with the fourth quarter of 2013, when GDP increased 2.6 percent. Although the sharp slowdown—likely caused by the harsh winter weather—is worse than expected, the economy is expected to rebound as the weather gets warmer.

Various factors contributed to the slow growth: Business investment fell at a 2.1 percent rate, with spending on equipment plunging at a 5.5 percent annual rate; residential construction fell at a 5.7 percent rate; and housing was affected by winter weather, higher home prices and a shortage of available houses.

Economists say most of the factors that slowed growth during the first quarter already have begun to reverse. Most economists expect the economy to expand by 3 percent during the April-June quarter.

Date : 4/30/2014