The first-quarter real gross domestic product revision was a 5.5% contraction, about as expected, confirming three calendar quarters of decline that mark a severe recession.

In fact, the U.S. economy has been in the doldrums since the fourth quarter of 2007, posting negative growth in four of the six calendar quarters.

However, first-quarter consumption grew and investment fell, sowing seeds of recovery: the second quarter looks less negative, and stabilizing consumption suggests the U.S. consumer might lead a rebound.

Personal consumption expenditures on services were revised down based on lower utility costs in a survey for electricity and gas services.

Investment, especially in structures, was the main problem in the first quarter, as was motor vehicle output. The latter subtracted 1.26 points from GDP, the Commerce Department estimated.

— Market News International

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