The economy in the U.S. contracted for the first time in three years from January through March as companies added to inventories at a slower pace and curtailed investment.

Gross domestic product fell at a 1 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, a bigger decline than projected, after a previously reported 0.1 percent gain, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The last time the economy shrank was in the same three months of 2011. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.5 percent drop.

A pickup in receipts at retailers, stronger manufacturing and faster job growth indicate the first-quarter setback will prove temporary as pent-up demand is unleashed. Federal Reserve policy makers said at their April meeting that the economy has strengthened after adverse weather took its toll.

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