US GDP growth: The US economy just had its worst quarter in a year

Jessica Morris
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The world's largest economy barely grew in the first quarter of this year according to a first estimate released today, adding to a recent stream of disappointing economic data from the United States.

The Commerce Department said gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.2 per cent on an annual basis in the first quarter of 2015. The figure is down from a 2.2 per cent increase in the last three months, and was well below economists' expectations of one per cent.

Exports fell 7.2 per cent, down from a 4.5 per cent increase the previous quarter. This was probably due to the dollar's appreciation against other currencies, which has made goods from the United States more expensive, and thus less competitive abroad.

Other factors were non-residential fixed investment as well as state and local government spending.

Investors will now turn their attention to the Federal Reserve which is about to start its second day of meetings over the future path of interest rates and the state of the US economy.

Today's GDP figure will no doubt give them even more to chew over.

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