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<a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18349148/" target="_blank">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18349148/</a><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">WASHINGTON - Economic growth slowed to a near crawl of 1.3 percent in the first three months of 2007, the worst performance in four years. The main culprit: the housing slump.<br><br>
The fresh reading on gross domestic product, released by the Commerce Department on Friday, was even weaker than the 2.5 percent growth rate logged in the final three months of last year. The new figures underscored just how much momentum the economy has been losing as it copes with the strain of the troubled housing market, which has made some businesses more cautious in their spending.<br><br>
The first-quarter GDP figure was the weakest since a 1.2 percent pace registered in the opening quarter of 2003. GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced within the United States and is considered the best barometer of the country’s economic fitness.</td>
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