NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — U.S. economic growth remained disappointingly weak the first three months of the year, the government reported Thursday.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation’s economic health, grew at an annual rate of 1.8% in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department. That is unchanged from the original reading released a month ago, and well below the 3.1% pace of economic growth in the final three months of 2010.

Economists surveyed by had predicted that GDP would be revised up to 2% growth in Thursday’s report. (World’s fastest growing economies).

The report showed consumer spending slowed even more than originally expected, as consumption grew at only a 2.2% rate, a significant slowdown from the original 2.7% estimate. But that was partly offset by businesses adding more to inventories than originally reported. (America’s CEOs: Jobs outlook better, but …)

The Commerce Department calculates GDP as a measure of goods and services produced in the United States. The number is often revised multiple times. This is the second reading for the first quarter. To top of page

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