Exports tumbled

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WASHINGTON Nationals Gio Gonzalez Jersey , April 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. economic growth almost stalled in the first quarter this year, as slumping exports and private investment weighed on solid growth of personal consumption, renewing concerns that the economic recovery remained on a fragile footing.

U.S. real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the first quarter, sharply down from a growth of 2.6 percent in the previous quarter, the slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2012, the Commerce Department announced Wednesday.

The severe winter weather early this year has prompted economists to lower their growth forecast, but Wednesday's data was still much lower than expected.

Personal consumption rose 3 percent, slightly down from a growth of 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter last year.

Although personal consumption is the main engine of the U.S. economy as it accounts for about 70 percent of overall economic activity, a solid growth in the first quarter was counterbalanced by slumping private investment and exports.

Exports tumbled 7.6 percent after gaining 9.5 percent in the previous quarter. Exports of goods dwindled 12 percent, while that of services went up 3 percent. Imports fell 1.4 percent.
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