CNBC's Rick Santelli could only say "Holy cow!" at the news that the first quarter of 2014 GDP growth was a mere 0.1 percent.
"It's a tie," he said. "The last time we had such a non-robust level of growth was the fourth quarter of 2012 when it was exactly 0.1, the same as it is now. We'd have to go back to March of 2011 to find a lower number, and the lower number was -1.3."
Market Watch reported that the economists it surveyed had expected growth of 1 percent:
Wall Street expected a poor number, but the weakness appeared even more widespread than had been forecast. Investment in business equipment and residential home construction both declined, U.S. exports fell sharply, government spending dropped again and companies increased inventories at a much slower rate.
Despite the poor growth at the start of 2014, a batch of early indicators suggest the U.S. economy is accelerating in the second quarter. One reason: Some of the hiring, consumer spending and business investment put off in the first quarter because of bad weather may now occur in the spring.
Santelli went through the internals, saying consumption was "pretty decent" at three percent, but part of that was due to spikes in utilities use from cold weather and higher outlays on health care because of Obamacare.
"To summarize: weak," he said. "Let me summarize again. Weak!"
The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported:
Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the first quarter (that is, from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.