U.S. economy struggles at start of election year
WASHINGTON — 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.