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GDP grew more slowly than previously predicted

The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a slower rate in the first quarter of 2012 than in the last quarter of 2011, according to revised numbers released today by the Department of Commerce.

The agency previously estimated the economy grew at a rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter, lower than the United States’ growth of 3 percent from October to December. The revised rate released today says the economy only grew by 1.9 percent.

Imports, which are subtracted from the GDP figure, rose during the first quarter. State and local governments also spent less money in the first quarter, a drop of 2.5 percent as opposed to the initial report of a decrease of 1.2 percent.

Corporate profits also increased in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department. Profits rose 0.6 percent and were 6.5 percent higher than the first quarter of 2011. 

The economy was helped in the first quarter by a 2.7 percent increase in consumer spending, which was higher than the fourth quarter’s increase of 2.1 percent, according to Bloomberg. 

The government reports released today, including one from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing more people filed for unemployment benefits last week, had little effect on stocks early this morning, according to Bloomberg.

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