U.S. economy grows at 3.3 percent in Q2 the second quarter


WASHINGTON, AP

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the spring, the government reported Wednesday. That was significantly better than a previous estimate but still the weakest showing in more than a year.

The Commerce Department said the April-to-June increase in the gross domestic product — the country’s total output of goods and services — was revised upward by 0.5 percentage point from its estimate just a month ago that the economy expanded at a 2.8 percent pace in the second quarter.

Even with the revision, the 3.3 percent GDP growth rate was down significantly from the 4.5 percent rate of increase turned in during the January-March quarter as consumers, buffeted by rising energy prices, cut back sharply on their spending in other areas during the spring. It marked the slowest growth rate since a 1.9 percent increase in the first three months of 2003. The upward revision Wednesday in GDP for the second quarter was sure to be cited by the Bush administration as proof that the economy is regaining its footing and the recovery from the 2001 recession remains on track.

However, Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry, arguing that he can do a better job managing the economy than President George W. Bush, contends that the current recovery, especially in the area of jobs production, has been lackluster.