Economy

First Quarter Economic Growth Lower Than Expected

1.8 percent

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The economy grew at a 1.8% annual rate in the first quarter, the government reported today, well below previous estimates of 2.4% growth and missing forecasts.

The biggest change was a cut in the government's estimate of consumer spending growth, which dropped to 2.6% from 3.4% growth. Consumer spending is more than 70% of the economy. This figure was still better than in late 2012, despite the January expiration of a two-year payroll tax cut, which cost the average worker's pay about $20 a week.