U.S. Economy Grew Just 0.7% in First Quarter

America’s gross domestic product expanded at the slowest pace in three years during 2017’s first quarter, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported early Friday. The measure of goods and services produced from January to March registered at 0.7 percent; analysts had expected it to be 1 percent. Sluggish consumer spending, particularly on big-ticket items, was the biggest factor in the pullback: The Wall Street Journal reports household outlays hit the lowest point since late 2009 during the period, with rising inflation and less money spent on home heating during the mild winter cited as driving factors. Economists said the GDP tends to be slow during the early part of the year, and many expect a rebound to a rate of 3 to 4 percent in the coming months.