WASHINGTON (AP) - The economic rebound last quarter turned out to be slower than first thought, one of the reasons unemployment is likely to stay stubbornly high this year.
The government says the economy grew at a 3 percent annual rate from January to March as consumers and businesses spent slightly less. That was weaker than an initial estimate of 3.2 percent growth. The new reading, based on more complete information, also fell short of economists' forecast for stronger growth of 3.4 percent.
The economy grew at a 5.6 percent in the final quarter of last year.
Meanwhile, the number of newly laid off workers filings claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week but the level still remained higher than expected. Applications for unemployment befits fell by 14,000 to 460,000 last week.