BYLINE: JOSEPH MARTINUCCI | APRIL 02, 2018 08:29:42As the world’s biggest economy slid into recession, the U.S. economy shrank 0.1% in the third quarter, the weakest pace since the Great Recession, the Commerce Department said on Friday.
The data showed growth slowed to a 0.2% annual rate in the three months through April 1, below the economists’ consensus estimate of a 0% rate.
It was the first contraction since the third month of the year in 2017.
The economy was dragged down by a trade war with China and the U .
S. presidential election.
The trade deficit was $2.2 trillion in the first three months of 2018, compared with $3.2 billion in the same period a year earlier.
The latest figures are revised downward from $3,958 billion in January.
The trade deficit has fallen to $2,979 billion from $2-3,500 billion, but the gap is widening, with the deficit expected to be $3-4 trillion next year, the Department of Commerce said in a report.
The economy has contracted for the first time in nearly three years.
The unemployment rate fell to 5.9%, from 6.1%.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast it to rise to 6.5%.
The U.K. economy also slowed sharply, shrinking 0.5% in April, the first quarterly decline since February, as growth slowed in the biggest single-quarter contraction in four years.
It was the third consecutive month of contraction, but it was the fastest pace since March 2019, when the economy contracted for three consecutive months.
The British economy shranked 2.5%, while the U