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U.S. First-Quarter GDP Growth Stays at 1.9%

MarketWatch (06/28/12) Jeffrey Bartash

The U.S. economy’s growth rate in the first quarter was unchanged from earlier estimates at 1.9%, but corporate profits fell for the first time in four years while expansion in exports was much smaller than originally estimated, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had been expecting GDP to be 1.9%.

Profits of U.S. companies, originally estimated to have risen $11.4 billion, actually fell $6.4 billion, based on more complete data drawn from private-sector and government sources. It was the biggest decline since the third quarter of 2008. The drop in corporate profits largely stemmed from the expiration in 2011 of an investment tax credit. As a result, companies paid sharply higher taxes in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter.