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Gross Domestic Product

US economy struggles at start of election year

It was not a great start for the U.S. economy.

With consumers and businesses turning cautious, the U.S. struggled to grow in the first three months of a presidential election year that is shining the spotlight on the economy's fitful recovery.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, expanded at a paltry annual rate of 0.5 percent in the January-March quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That is slower than the fourth quarter's 1.4 percent growth rate and marks the weakest performance in two years.

The good news is that American employers are still adding plenty of jobs, which is expected in the months ahead to fuel an economy...

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