The economy shrank by one percent during the first three months of 2014, according to new report by the Bureau of Economic Affairs.
That’s almost a four-point drop from the last quarter, when the economy grew by 2.6 percent.
The drop highlights President Barack Obama’s economic record, which has produced a very slow recovery from the 2008 crash. The economy grew 2.8 percent in 2012, and 1.9 percent in 2013, which was much slower than during previous post-crash periods.
Partly because of that slow recovery, the percentage of adults who are working has dropped to the low level of 1978, when fewer women sought jobs. The number of jobs remains roughly 300,000 below its 2007 peak, even though the nation’s population of 313 million has grown by roughly 8 million.
The economy’s first-quarter performance was dragged down by reduced investment, government spending and exports, according to the May 29 report by the Bureau of Economic Affairs.
The estimated inflation rate was 1.3 percent, but that number excludes the cost of energy and food, both of which are drifting upwards. If the rising cost of energy and food were added to the mix, the first-quarter decline would be greater than 1 percent.
The drop-off since the fourth quarter of 2013 was especially sharp in company profits, which support Wall Street’s high prices. First quarter profits were down $213.4 billion, compared to a rise of $47.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.