It’s Official: The Economy Slowed Down in 2015

The economy slowed dramatically in the first three months of this year, and might actually have been in recession were it not for strong momentum coming off of 2014, according to some new information from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Analysis by the economists at The Conference Board suggests that the drastically lower oil prices we’re enjoying might actually be partly to blame for our weak economic growth in the first quarter of this year.

America’s oil boom has been a mighty source of jobs and investment in recent years. The sudden drop in oil prices during the latter part of 2014 slowed that activity to a crawl.

While consumers have benefited from lower energy costs, it seems that the immediate impact of cheaper oil – in the form of higher spending by consumers on things other than gas – had mostly petered out by early this year.

There was a bump in consumer spending in the last three months of 2014, (which corresponds to the fall in oil prices), this benefit to the economy largely stalled out by the start of this year.

The result: real Gross Domestic Product grew at a pathetic 0.2% annualized growth rate during the first three months of this year.

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