- Associated Press -
The economic rebound last quarter turned out to be slower than first thought, one of the reasons unemployment is likely to stay high this year.
The economy grew at a 3 percent annual rate from January to March, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That was slightly weaker than an initial estimate of 3.2 percent a month ago. The new reading, based on more complete information, also fell short of economists' forecast for stronger growth of 3.4 percent.
The reasons for the small downgrade: consumers spent less than first estimated. Same goes for business spending on equipment and software. And, the nation's trade deficit was a bigger drag on economic activity.
In a separate report, the Labor Department said Thursday that the number of newly laid off workers filings claims for unemployment benefits fell by 14,000 to 460,000 last week. The decline came after claims had risen by a revised 28,000 in the previous week, the largest gain in three months.
The latest level of claims is slightly higher than it was at the start of the year. That shows the nation's workers are still facing tough times even though the overall economy is growing again.
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