2015 economic growth strongest since 2005

Shipping containers sit at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California in this aerial photo taken February 6, 2015. REUTERS/Bob Riha, Jr./File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth in 2015 was the best since 2005 but the momentum ebbed significantly in 2016, with the economy notching its weakest performance since the recession, according to revised government data published on Friday.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, the government agency that compiles gross domestic product data, said the economy grew 2.9 percent in 2015, an upward revision from the 2.6 percent it had estimated earlier. That was the strongest growth since 2005.

The government’s annual GDP revision, which covered data from 2014 through the first quarter of 2017, also showed the economy performing worse than previously estimated in 2016.

The economy grew 1.5 percent last year, a slight downward revision from the 1.6 percent the government estimated earlier. It was the slowest growth since the 2007-09 recession ended.

The revisions to growth in both 2015 and 2016 mostly reflected swings in inventory investment and exports.

Overall, the revisions did not change the economy’s picture and confirmed that the current expansion cycle is the slowest on record.

The government will in 2018 publish a comprehensive revision of the GDP series, which will fully address a seasonal quirk that has tended to weigh on first-quarter GDP growth estimates. It hopes that GDP data remain free of the so-called residual seasonality beyond 2018.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani in Washington; Editing by James Dalgleish