News / Economy

US Economy Grew at Slower Pace in Second Quarter

The U.S. economy grew at a slower pace from April to June than previously thought.  Final government estimates for the second quarter show U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 1.3 percent annual rate - down from last month's estimate of 1.7 percent.  While growth was not as robust as many hoped, economists say it's not all gloom and doom for the world's largest economy.
 
U.S. domestic output weakened in the second quarter, growing at the slowest pace in 9 months. The slowdown is blamed partly on unusually warm weather - a prolonged drought that decimated farm inventories and sent corn and soybean prices to new highs.
 
But things are not as bad as they seem. Consumer spending outpaced growth in the second quarter - April through June.
 
And despite high unemployment, economist Max Wolff at Greencrest Capital said companies are laying off fewer workers.
 
"The job situation here is lousy but it's not terrible. So it's not worsening. We are seeing 100,000 - 150,000 new jobs a month. We do need 120,000 each month to keep pace with population growth," said Wolff.
 
The housing market also has seen steady improvement. Even after a slight dip in August, home sales are up from last year - and prices are rising. 
 
As for investments, Yahoo finance editor Aaron Task said the U.S. remains an attractive bet.
 
"In a global economy, global investors have to put their money somewhere. And they look at the United States as a safer place to put it than Europe, certainly than China, than a lot of the other emerging markets."
 
Others warn, however, against over confidence.
 
Uri Dadush heads the Global Economics program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
 
"Going forward, there are really three big things to worry about. One, the European situation continues to be very fragile in my view,” he said. “The second is the fiscal cliff - the famous fiscal cliff coming at the end of this year, and the third is the slowdown in emerging markets."
 
Dadush said uncertainty over the debt crisis in Europe and a political stalemate in the U.S. over tax cuts and spending - known as the fiscal cliff - have the potential to plunge the global economy into another recession.
 
Many will be looking for more clues on U.S. economic health when a key government report on the job market comes out on October 5.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

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.