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US healthcare data points to much weaker first-quarter GDP

Reuters, June 12, 2014

The U.S. economy likely contracted at a much sharper pace in the first quarter than previously estimated with data on Wednesday showing weaker healthcare spending. The Commerce Department's quarterly services survey, or QSS, showed healthcare outlays were not as strong as the government had assumed when it published its second gross domestic product estimate for the first quarter last month. The government reported that the economy contracted at a 1.0 percent annual rate in the January-March period. But with healthcare spending data now in hand, economists say growth probably declined at a rate of at least 1.7 percent.