US Economy Grinds to Near-Halt

by Peter Spence, Economics Correspondent

The US economy has slowed to its weakest pace in two years, as plunging oil prices and global anxiety brought growth to a near standstill.

The economy grew by just 0.1pc in the first quarter of the year, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), well below the 0.4pc gain of the previous quarter, and the 0.2pc rise anticipated by analysts.

The disappointing performance marked the third straight year in which US GDP figures have missed the estimates made by forecasters. Economists attributed much of the weakness to sliding business investment, knocked by jitters over the global economy and weak oil prices.

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