U.S. Economy Contracted Almost 3 Percent in First Quarter

The U.S. economy contracted much more than previously thought during the first quarter of this year, revised estimates show. Rather than the 1 percent growth the Commerce Department reported last month, gross domestic product fell by 2.9 percent, the worst performance in five years. That brings total growth down by 3 percent since the government first reported its estimates in April. There hasn't been a larger difference between the second and third revised estimates in 38 years, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. While the economy's woes have been largely blamed on an unusually cold winter, the magnitude of the revisions suggest other factors at play beyond the weather. The latest revisions reflect a weaker pace of healthcare spending than previously assumed. Trade was also a bigger drag on the economy than previously thought.

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— Reuters and NBC News staff