- Frigid Weather, Weak Exports Curtail Activity
The Wall Street Journal
By Eric Morath
and Ben Leubsdorf
30 April 2014
WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy nearly stalled in the first quarter as weakness overseas hurt exports and frigid weather curtailed business investment.
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.1% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That matched the second-weakest quarterly reading of the nearly five-year-old economic recovery.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast growth at a 1.1% pace for the quarter.
"Not a great start to the year," said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Sterne Agee.
The broad slowdown halted what had been improving economic momentum during much of 2013. The economy expanded at a 3.4% pace in the second half of last year. The first-quarter reading fell far below even the lackluster average annual gain of near 2% since the recession ended.