JOSH BOAK 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The latest report on gross domestic product is complicating President Joe Biden's pitch that the U.S. economy is strong.

It shows that the economy shrank at a 1.4% annualized rate during the first three months of this year.

Biden says the drop reflects technical quirks such as businesses adding less to their inventories, while Republicans have a direct line of attack to say the problem is rooted in inflation at a 40-year high.

The risk for Biden is now a muddled message going into the midterm elections at a time when voters are focused on the economy.