``It now looks like the world's largest economy contracted in January through March instead of eking out a 0.1 percent gain at an annualized rate as reported by the Commerce Department last week. The latest knock came from data issued today. Although the trade deficit shrank in March to $40.4 billion from $41.9 billion as exports grew, the narrowing was less than the government had projected when putting together the advance estimate on gross domestic product.''

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