The U.S. economy expanded by just 1.3 percent between April to June, according to initial U.S. Bureau of Economy Analysis (BEA) estimates – an anemic growth rate that was blamed on high fuel prices, sustained joblessness and lackluster income growth.
That estimate could be downgraded even further when the BEA releases an updated figure next month.
Meanwhile, economic growth for the first quarter of the year – once projected at 1.9 percent – has been revised downward to show growth of 0.4 percent. Along with the nation’s chronically-high unemployment rate, those figures present a stark challenge for U.S. President Barack Obama – who is hoping to pin the blame for a “second recession” on Republicans in Congress who are unwilling to sign off on a “blank check” increase in the federal debt limit.
The Commerce Department also released data showing that recession was more severe than originally thought. For example, the rate of economic contraction in 2009 has been adjusted downward from 2.9 percent to 3.5 percent. Also, it was revealed that the economy mildly contracted in 2008 after initial estimates showed no growth.
To view the data, click here.