The US economy grew at a 1.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday, in its unrevised third GDP estimate.

The estimate for the first three months of the year matched expectations, and confirmed the slowdown from a 3.0 percent pace in the final quarter of 2011.

The world's largest economy has been struggling to gain traction in a bumpy recovery from the deep 2008-2009 recession, and a series of economic indicators have pointed to slowing growth.

Last week the Federal Reserve slashed its growth forecast for all of 2012 by a half point to 2.4 percent. - Sapa-AFP