Give the U.S. economy a C for the first quarter of 2013, which at least is an improvement over the failing grade it earned in the fourth quarter of 2012. Last Friday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its advance estimate for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter. The BEA found that real GDP grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate during the quarter. In the current environment, the growth rate of GDP can be evaluated as if it were an academic grade: 4.0 would be an A, anything above 3.0 a B, above 2.0 a C, and so on. Hence the C grade for the first quarter -- not terrible, but not particularly exciting either.