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In the first quarter of 2022, U.S. corporate profits fell by the most in almost two years, as inflation promised greater costs for companies while the economy took a step back. Adjusted pre-tax profits decreased by an annualized 2.3 percent from the prior quarter and were up 12.5 percent from a year earlier, Commerce Department data showed Thursday. At the same time, one measure of profit margins edged higher.

The report also showed that inflation-adjusted GDP decreased at a 1.5 percent annualized rate in the January-to-March period, compared with an initially reported 1.4 percent decline. Consumer spending, which accounts for the majority of the economy, grew an upwardly revised 3.1 percent.

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