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Monday, February 26, 2024
HomeNewsEconomyU.S. Economy Still Weak, 2Q GDP Growth Just 1.1%

U.S. Economy Still Weak, 2Q GDP Growth Just 1.1%

GDP-Shipping-Cranes-Trade-Portland-Oregon
GDP-Shipping-Cranes-Trade-Portland-Oregon

File photo: Shipping-cranes-in move containers at a port in Portland, Oregon. (Photo: REUTERS)

The Commerce Department said Friday the U.S. economy stalled, with second-quarter (2Q) gross domestic product (GDP) coming in at a disappointing and weak 1.1%. The second reading on 2Q GDP declined from the preliminary reading of 1.2% initially reported.

The government’s revision reflected in part more imports than previously estimated, as well as weaker spending by state and local governments. The economy grew at a similarly weak 0.8% pace in the first quarter (1Q), and just 1.0% in the first half of 2016. Trade deficits and inventories continue to plague U.S. economic growth, with the latter alone slicing off 1.26% from GDP growth.

That’s the largest drag in more than two years and the fifth straight quarter that inventories weighed down growth. It’s also an increase from the 1.16% inventories sliced off in previous month’s estimate. Business inventories fell $12.4 billion in the second quarter, marking the first time since the 3Q 2011 that it declined and far steeper than the $8.1 billion decline reported last month.

Meanwhile, imports were revised down to a 0.3% rate instead of 0.4 %. There was also a downward revision to export growth, which resulted in trade contributing just one-tenth of a percentage point to GDP growth in the second quarter, rather than the 0.23% previously reported last month. With after-tax corporate profits falling at a 2.4% rate last quarter, expectations for a rebound in business spending are now unwarranted.

Business spending on equipment contracted (3.7%) for a third consecutive quarter, the longest since the 2007-2009 recession and down from the 3.5% pace reported last month. There were also downward revisions to investment in nonresidential structures–to include oil and gas wells–as well as residential construction spending.

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PPD Business, the economy-reporting arm of People's Pundit Daily, is "making sense of current events." We are a no-holds barred, news reporting pundit of, by, and for the people.

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