Pedestrians walk by an advertisement for a clothing company along Broadway in Manhattan on October 15, 2014 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP
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U.S. economic growth braked more sharply than expected in the first quarter as harsh weather dampened consumer spending and energy companies struggling with low prices slashed spending, but there are signs activity is picking up.That was a big step down from the fourth quarter's 2.2 percent pace and marked the weakest reading in a year.The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note retreated from a six-week high.Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, slowed to a 1.9 percent rate. That was the slowest in a year and followed a brisk 4.4 percent pace in the fourth quarter.The dollar is expected to remain an economic headwind in the quarters ahead. Economists estimate it will reduce growth by 0.6 percentage point this year.
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