(FOX NEWS) America's economy shrank at a drastic 2.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter, a far more alarming picture than ones painted in two previous government estimates -- including one that actually claimed modest growth.
The new figure released Wednesday by the Commerce Department is nearly three times lower than last month's preliminary estimate of 1 percent shrinkage -- at the time the worst three-month performance since 2009 -- and far greater than the 0.1 percent growth estimate in April. The sluggish economy's woes have been widely attributed to an unusually cold winter, but the latest figure -- the biggest difference between second and third estimates since 1976 -- could indicate far greater problems.
While economists attributed those bad numbers to weather and other factors, the jarring final number is more difficult to dismiss.
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