Economy

First-quarter GDP declined 1.5%, worse than thought; jobless claims edge lower

The U.S. economic contraction to start the year was worse than expected as weak business and private investment failed to offset strong consumer spending, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

First-quarter gross domestic product declined at a 1.5% annual pace, according to the second estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That was worse than the 1.3% Dow Jones estimate and a write-down from the initially reported 1.4%.

Downward revisions for both private inventory and residential investment offset an upward change in consumer spending. A swelling trade deficit also subtracted from the GDP total.

The pullback in GDP represented the worst quarter since the pandemic-scarred Q2 of 2020 in which the U.S. fell into a recession spurred by a government-imposed economic shutdown to battle Covid-19. GDP plummeted 31.2% in that quarter.

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