The economy grew at a faster pace than estimated in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday, boosted by an increase in personal expenditures. GDP growth was revised up to 1.9% from an advance estimate of 1.6%, the government said. Personal spending rose 2%, compared with estimates of 1.4%. Weakening business-investment conditions offset those gains, however. Equipment and software expenditures decreased 6.3%, more than initial forecasts of a 4.4% drop. The GDP purchase price index held steady at 3.6%. The market was heading higher on the better growth forecast. In the fourth quarter, GDP rose 1.4%. Separately, the Labor Department reportedly said Thursday that that first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 9,000 to 424,000 for the week ended Saturday. Economists had expected a drop of 8,000 claims.