Economic indicators released Thursday show the U.S. economy slowed significantly between the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of this year, while weekly jobless claims remain well above 300,000.

Weekly unemployment claims fell by 6,000 filings to 386,000 claims for the week ending June 23. A week earlier claims hit 392,000 filings.

Real gross domestic product – a measure of the output of all goods and services – increased at an annual rate of 1.9% in the first quarter of 2012, based on the third estimate released by the Commerce Department. That is down from 3% GDP growth in the fourth quarter.

The government said “the increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, exports, residential fixed investment, nonresidential fixed investment and private inventory investment.”

The Commerce Department blames the deceleration in real GDP in the first quarter to declines in private inventory and in nonresidential fixed investments.

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