The U.S. economy’s second-quarter rebound puts the expansion back on its familiar, steady path more than it heralds anything new and exciting.
Gross domestic product grew at a 1.9 percent annual pace for the first half, below the expansion’s 2.2 percent average rate through the end of 2016, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. Stripping out trade and inventories — the two most volatile components of the GDP calculation — so-called final sales to domestic purchasers rose 2.4 percent in the April-to-June period, the same as in the first quarter.
With a solid labor market keeping household spending in the driver’s seat and business investment and trade providing further help, demand looks set to expand around the rate it’s pretty much been growing. The results also indicate President Donald Trump has his work cut out for him in finding ways to perk up the momentum and push growth toward his 3 percent-plus goal.
“The economy is moving along at a pace that’s unexciting but not worrisome,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase in New York. “I wouldn’t want to emphasize that growth is accelerating based on the second quarter. The economy is plodding along at a slow and steady pace.”
- Gross domestic product rose at a 2.6 percent annualized rate from prior quarter (estimated 2.7 percent); first-quarter growth revised to 1.2 percent from 1.4 percent.
- Consumer spending, biggest part of the economy, grew 2.8 percent (matching est.) after 1.9 percent gain that was revised up.
- Nonresidential fixed investment climbed 5.2 percent after 7.2 percent rise.
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