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U.S. economy declined more than expected with 1.5% drop in first quarter

U.S. economy declined more than expected with 1.5% drop in first quarter
Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo seen during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., on July 22, 2021. Thursday the Commerce Department said U.S. GDP fell 1.5% in the first quarter of 2022. Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

May 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy contracted by 1.5% in the first quarter of 2022, according to a Thursday report from the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The revised report said gross domestic product fell by 1.5% while real GDP for the fourth quarter of 2021 declined by 6.9%.

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Real gross domestic income was up 2.1% in the first quarter, but corporate profits from current production were down $66.4 billion. Financial corporation profits were down $28.6 billion.

"The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in private inventory investment, exports, federal government spending, and state and local government spending, while imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased," the Commerce Department said.

The drop in GDP was the worst quarter since Q2 of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic shutdown it triggered sent the economy into recession with a 31.7% GDP plunge.

The original estimate for the first quarter of 2022 released by the Commerce Department April 28 showed a 1.4% GDP decline.

COVID-19 had an impact on first quarter economic performance.

"In the first quarter, an increase in COVID-19 cases related to the Omicron variant resulted in continued restrictions and disruptions in the operations of establishments in some parts of the country," the Commerce Department report said. "Government assistance payments in the form of forgivable loans to businesses, grants to state and local governments, and social benefits to households all decreased as provisions of several federal programs expired or tapered off."

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