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THE ECONOMY CRAWLS

11:40 AM MDT | August 7, 2007 | Arnold Pearlman

The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 0.7% during the first quarter, slightly more than analysts had estimated. That compares to 9% during 2006, and 3.2% in 2005. The continued sharp drop in new home construction is the primary factor in the slowdown, analysts say. Expenditures on new homes fell at an annualized 15% in the first quarter, and declined 16% during the past 12 months. The boom in business capital spending has also waned in the past year. Investment outlays gained only 2.6% in the most recent quarter, and rose 3.4% over year-ago levels. Those...

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