June 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy shrank by 5 percent in the first quarter of 2020, reflecting economic damage from the COVID-19 crisis, the Commerce Department said in an update Thursday.
Citing "rapid changes in demand as businesses and schools switched to remote work or canceled operations," the department said in the report -- its third estimate of first-quarter performance -- that U.S. gross domestic product declined at an annualized rate of 5 percent between Jan. 1 through March 31.
In its initial estimate in April, the department estimated a 4.8 percent Q1 decline. The 5 percent decline is the U.S. economy's steepest since the 1930s.
Thursday's report said U.S. consumers "canceled, restricted or redirected" spending in the first quarter, mainly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The contraction also resulted from a decline in exports and lower outlays for non-residential capital goods, like commercial real estate. The declines were partly offset by positive measures in home buying and government spending.
The Labor Department said Thursday another 1.5 million American workers filed for unemployment benefits last week.