(NEW YORK) — According to a report from the Commerce Department Wednesday, the U.S. economy ground to a halt in the year’s first quarter, notching just 0.1 percent growth.
The country’s gross domestic product all but stagnanted, inching up due to low spending. The poor performance came in at about a tenth of experts’ predictions.
GDP growth from January to March was down from 2.6 percent at the end of 2013. Still, the number will likely be revised following a spring rebound that began in March, according to Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial.
“I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see us nibbling at four percent, but that’s after we revise the first quarter back up to closer to one percent,” Swonk said. “We’re on a real roller coaster ride this year. As the winter thaws, we’re going to see a catch-up in activity in the second quarter.”
The White House blames winter, and not its economic stewardship for the economic freeze, with some officials calling it temporary, expecting consumer spending in areas like restaurants, hotels, and cars to bounce back in March.
“Consumer spending on health care helped drive economy growth in the first quarter, and that is directly related to the increase in people who have insurance because of the Affordable Care Act,” White House press secretary Jay Carney claimed.
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Lois M. Collins, Deseret News
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com Columnist