US Economy Shrinks in the First Quarter

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States (US) unexpectedly declined in the first quarter of 2022, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data released on Thursday.

BEA said the advance estimate between January and March showed that the nation’s GDP fell at an annualized rate of 1.4 percent, reversing the previous year’s strong increase.

Private inventory investment, exports, federal government spending, and state and local government spending all contributed to the drop in real GDP.

Despite the decrease in figures, US President Joe Biden described the American economy “to be resilient in the face of historic challenges.”

Biden said in a statement released by the White House on Thursday that the last quarter’s growth estimate was affected by technical factors, the challenges of COVID-19 around the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and global inflation from a position of strength.

BEA reported that imports increased while consumer spending grew with health care topping the list. 

The spending on health care services helped to offset a minor drop in goods consumption, which fell due to lower gas spending.

At the end of May, the second estimate of first-quarter GDP growth will be released.

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