Poor first quarter for U.S. economy

The U.S. economy barely grew in the first quarter of 2015 as the gross domestic product increased by 0.2 percent, according to an advanced estimate by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

For comparison, the GDP grew 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Business investment, exports and government spending all shrank during the first quarter, while consumer spending on household services and inventory investment increased, according to the bureau’s report.

A strong U.S. dollar, West Coast port disputes, severe weather and declining energy prices all contributed to the slowdown, the report said. The GDP contracted in the first quarter of 2014, also during a harsh winter.

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