U.S. real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the first quarter, official data showed here Wednesday. The Department of Commerce indicated that the increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected a "positive" contribution from personal consumption expenditures (PCE) that was partly offset by negative contributions from exports, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending.
Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.
Real exports of goods and services decreased 7.6 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 9.5 percent in the fourth. Real imports of goods and services decreased 1.4 percent, in contrast to an increase of 1.5 percent.
In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.
Commenting on this, Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement that today's GDP estimate "is subject to a number of notable influences, including historically severe winter weather, which temporarily lowered growth in the first quarter." Furman affirmed that President Barack Obama "will do everything he can either by acting through executive action or by working with Congress to push for steps that would raise growth and accelerate job creation, including fully paid-for investments in infrastructure, education and research, a reinstatement of extended unemployment insurance benefits, and an increase in the minimum wage."