The nation's economic growth slowed to an annualized rate of 1.6%. A surge in imports, which are subtracted from GDP, reduced first-quarter growth by nearly 1 percentage point. Growth was also held back by businesses reducing their inventories. Both those categories tend to fluctuate sharply from quarter to quarter. By contrast, the core components of the economy still appear sturdy. Along with households, businesses helped drive the economy last quarter with a strong pace of investment. The economy, though, is still creating price pressures, a continuing source of concern for the Federal Reserve.

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