Shoppers use stairs at the mall, New Jersey (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Plunge in Election-Related Spending Dents U.S. GDP Growth: Chart

(Bloomberg) -- Growth in U.S. personal consumption expenditures in the first quarter of 2017 was slowest since 2009, according to figures released Friday by the Commerce Department. A big reason for that was the second-largest contraction in spending by nonprofits in 57 years of data. According to monthly consumption data through February, the drag seems to owe to a sharp decline in spending by professional advocacy groups, which always surges during U.S. presidential elections, and hit a record high in November.

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