US Economy
US economy grew at weak pace in Q2 2015 - Worst expansion since 1945
By Michael Hennigan, editor of Finfacts
Jul 30, 2015 - 2:26 PM

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US economy grew at weak pace in Q2 2015 - Worst expansion since 1945

The US economy accelerated modestly in the second quarter after a slow start to 2015, but growth this year is still less than last year's first half and is well below the overall pace of the recovery. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.6% (revised).

Gross domestic product grew at a 2.3% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal says that since the recession ended in June 2009, the economy has advanced at a 2.2% annual pace through the end of last year. That’s more than a half-percentage point worse than the next-weakest expansion of the past 70 years, the one from 2001 through 2007. While there have been highs and lows in individual quarters, overall the economy has failed to break out of its roughly 2% pattern for six years.

GDP highlights: The second-quarter increase in real GDP mainly reflected an increase in consumer spending.

Spending on both durable goods, notably motor vehicles and parts, and nondurable goods increased. Spending on services, mainly household services, also increased.

Exports, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment also contributed to the rise in real GDP.

These contributions to the increase in real GDP were partly offset by decreases in federal government spending, inventory investment, and business investment.

In addition, imports — a subtraction in the calculation of GDP — increased.

Annual revision: The BEA also released its 2015 annual revision of the national income and product accounts, which updated most components for the last 3 years based on newly available and revised source data. For 2011–2014, real GDP rose at an average annual rate of 2.0 percent; in the previously published estimates, the real GDP growth rate was 2.3 percent. For more information, see the technical note.

Prices: Prices of goods and services purchased by US residents — that is, prices of gross domestic purchases — increased 1.4% in the second quarter after decreasing 1.6% in the first quarter. Energy prices rose in the second quarter after falling in the first quarter. Food prices declined more than in the first quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, gross domestic purchases prices increased 1.1% in the second quarter after increasing 0.2% in the first quarter

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