GDP growth was 0.6 percent in the first quarter, during which inventory accumulation more than offset a decline in construction spending. This was the weakest quarter since 2001. A 0.5- to 1.0-percent drop is expected in the second quarter as manufacturers and importers work down surplus inventories. Then, GDP growth will resume progressively, rising to 2.5 to 3.0 percent by the end of 2009. GDP growth overestimates the demand for building and facility space, because the trade sector is expanding faster than the domestic economy.
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