Business

US economic growth revised down to 3%

Image caption US unemployment remains high

The US economy grew less than initially estimated in the first three months of 2010, revised figures have shown.

The Commerce Department now calculates that the economy expanded at an annualised rate of 3% during the quarter, rather than the 3.2% that had initially been announced.

Its latest figure surprised analysts, who had been expecting the data to be revised upward to 3.4%.

However, the downward revision comes as US unemployment remains high.

The most recent figure showed that the jobless rate increased to 9.9% in April, from 9.7% in March.

The economic expansion during January-March marked the third quarter in a row to see growth, but it was at a weaker pace than the 5.6% increase reported in the last quarter of 2009.

Consumer spending in the first quarter of 2010 was revised down to growth of 3.5%, compared with the initial estimate of 3.6%.

The rate of increase in business spending on equipment and software was also lowered, down to 12.7% from the first estimate of 13.4%.

"We're out of recession, but the recovery is not going to bring a whole lot of smiles," said Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors.

"At this pace of economic growth, it will take a long time to bring the unemployment rate down to more reasonable levels."

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