US economy contracts for first time since mid-2020
The US economy contracted unexpectedly in the first quarter, as a record high trade imbalance and weaker inventory growth masked strong spending by American consumers and businesses.
The US commerce department reported that gross domestic product dropped 1.4 per cent on an annualised basis in the first quarter, down dramatically from the 6.9 per cent rise recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021.
That marks the first contraction of the economy since mid-2020, when Covid-19 lockdowns had curtailed activity. The data translates to a 0.4 per cent fall compared with the previous quarter, based on a measure used by other major economies.