US GDP grew at an estimated 1.8% annual rate in Q1 2011, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The January-March 2011 quarter was the 7th consecutive quarter of growth since the end of the recession that lasted from Dec 2007 to Jun 2009. The growth rate of 1.8 percent disappointed many observers. Growth is expected to recover somewhat later in the year, but the recovery remains weak.
Consumption was the fastest growing GDP component, but slower than in Q4 2010. Investment grew at 1.45%, with strong business equipment purchases offsetting weak residential investment. Federal, state, and local government spending all declined, led by a drop in defense spending. Net exports were almost unchanged, as strong export growth was slightly more than offset by rising imports.
Follow this link to view or download a classroom-ready slideshow presenting highlights of the Q1 2011 GDP data.