Economic growth slackens to just 0.4% in first quarter

The economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), grew by a measly 0.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to a 3.9 percent growth in the same quarter in 2008, the biggest contraction in the last two decades and below the 2.5 percent earlier expected by the government .

The drop in the GDP growth was weighed down by the impact of the US financial meltdown and the global crisis, historic declines in manufacturing and trade.

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