News / Economy

US Economy Growing Faster Than First Thought

US Economic Growth in Second Quarter Beats Expectationsi
X
August 30, 2013 12:10 AM
The U.S. economy grew at a faster pace in the second quarter than first thought. The Commerce Department says the country’s gross domestic output increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent from April to June - a marked improvement from the initial estimate of 1.7 percent. Analysts say the latest figure suggests the U.S. recovery is gaining momentum. Mil Arcega has more for VOA.
Related report by Mil Arcega - US Economic Growth in Second Quarter Beats Expectations
Ken Bredemeier
The U.S. economy is growing faster than first estimated.

A report Thursday from the Commerce Department says the country's economic output increased at a 2.5 percent annual rate between April and June. That is faster than earlier estimates and more than double the 1.1 percent growth rate in the first quarter.

The chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, Jim O'Sullivan, told VOA that while the 2.5 percent growth is not a "booming number," recently some analysts expected almost no improvement in the economy.

"If you go back a month or so ago, people were worried that [second quarter] number could be close to zero. I think in general, expectations over the last few months have been too low, and I think we're increasingly getting evidence that the economy is recovering," said O'Sullivan.

The Commerce Department said the economy gained momentum on the strength of exports that were larger than previously estimated, while the increase in imports was less than first calculated.

The government also said that personal consumption spending was up. That is a key consideration, since consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the American economy, the world's largest. Increased consumer spending helped offset cuts in government expenditures throughout the country.

In another report, the government said that initial claims for jobless benefits fell last week, a sign the country's labor market is continuing to improve, with businesses laying off fewer workers. The U.S. said 331,000 people sought unemployment compensation, down 6,000 from the week before.

The country's central bank, the Federal Reserve, is closely watching economic trends as its weighs whether to start cutting its $85-billion-a-month purchase of securities to boost the country's recovery from the depths of the recession several years ago. The Fed has said it could start to pare back its stimulus measures in the coming months if the economy continues to improve, although the national unemployment rate remains high at 7.4 percent.

O'Sullivan predicted that with the improving economy, the Fed is likely to starting trimming its asset purchases.

“All signs at this point suggest that they will start tapering and start winding down the purchase program. Of course, right now they’re buying $85 billion per month in securities, so they’ll start pulling that number down, probably not by a huge amount. I’m guessing they’ll clip it maybe to $75 billion a month from $85 billion."

Federal Reserve policy makers are set to meet again in mid-September.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9211
JPY
USD
119.18
GBP
USD
0.6722
CAD
USD
1.2509
INR
USD
62.518

Rates may not be current.