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GDP Growth Slows In Q1 Due To Lackluster Consumer Spending

Charging Bull statue in Manhattan's Financial District

U.S. gross domestic product grew a mere 0.7% in Q1, marking the slowest economic expansion in this already stagnant cycle. 

That is according to Commerce Department data, which showed Q1 experienced growth less than half as robust as the economy’s average performance over the nearly eight-year expansion, the Wall Street Journal reports. Economic growth lagged far behind Q4’s rate of 2.1%, and was even weaker than the 1% rate expected by many economists.

Experts said slowing consumer spending is largely to blame. Americans bought fewer cars and other big-ticket items in Q1, and household outlays increased by the smallest margin since the end of 2009. The slowdown in consumer spending contrasts with recent surveys showing booming consumer confidence, and many expect growth to pick up again in the spring to between 3% and 4%.