Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: “A stalling of US economic growth at the start of the year rules out any imminent hiking of interest rates by the Fed.

“The slowdown looks temporary, as a rebound from the first quarter weakness is already being signalled by forward-looking survey data, but the sustainability of any upturn is by no means convincing yet.”

Ahead of the release, analysts at Deutsche Bank said: “The first quarter of the year has been the weakest in recent years, and 2015 is likely to be no exception”.

A string of weak first quarter performances has led some economists to question whether the Commerce Department, which releases the figures is “seasonally adjusting” the data correctly.

As a result, some believe that the performances in the second to fourth quarters have been overstated. If that proves to be the case again this year, US growth figures should bounce back.