U.S. growth for the first quarter was revised sharply downward Wednesday, to 1.8% from the 2.4% initially reported. The increase in the payroll tax at the beginning of the year appears to have taken a toll on consumer spending, with outlays for a wide range of products and services down, although overall household spending was up 2.6% in the quarter. Economists, however, still expect recovery in the housing market to stimulate growth as the year progresses.

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