The U.S. economy slowed drastically in the first three months of the year as a harsh winter exacted a toll on business activity. However, analysts believe the slowdown, while worse than expected, is likely to be temporary as growth rebounds with warmer weather.
Growth slowed to a barely discernible 0.1 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday. That rate is the weakest pace since the end of 2012 and marks a drop from the 2.6 percent rate in the previous quarter.
Many economists said the government’s first estimate of growth in the January-March quarter was skewed by weak figures early in the quarter. They noted that several sectors — from retail sales to manufacturing output — rebounded in March. That strength should provide momentum for the rest of the year. And many economists said they expect the government on Friday will report a solid 200,000-plus job gain for April.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.