The U.S. economy grew by just 0.7 percent in the first quarter of this year. Weak auto sales were one factor dragging down consumer spending. (Above) Chevrolet pickup trucks at a dealership in Delmont, Pa., in February.
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Waiter Melvin Angel shovels snow outside the restaurant he works at in Boston in April. The harsh winter in the Northeast took an even bigger toll on economic growth in the first three months of 2015 than previously estimated.
Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said consumers generally haven't been using the savings from lower gasoline prices to spend on other things.
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FedEx employees sorted through mounds of packages in December at one of the company's facilities in Miami. Consumer spending helped fuel the economy in the third quarter. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate (a figure that adjusts for holiday spending to show the "real" growth).
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At a Ford plant in Michigan, workers load a battery into a Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle. The economy picked up speed in the third quarter. Economists caution, though, that it may slow in coming quarters.
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