WASHINGTON (AP)- The U.S. economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, boosted by slightly stronger consumer spending and stronger exports.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that growth was slightly better than its initial estimate of 1.5 percent.
Economists expect a little better growth in the second half of the year after seeing some improvement in July data. But most believe the economy will keep growing at a subpar rate of around 2 percent.
Growth at or below 2 percent is not enough to lower the unemployment rate, which was 8.3 percent in July. Most expect the unemployment rate to stay above 8 percent for the rest of this year.
A weak economy could hurt President Barack Obama re-election chances and help Republican candidate Mitt Romney's campaign.
The report on economic growth measures the gross domestic output, the country's total output of goods and services, from the purchase of restaurant meals to construction of highways and bridges. The report Wednesday was the government's second look at GDP for the spring quarter. There will be a third and final estimate of second quarter GDP released next month.
The third quarter began with some promise.
Employers created 163,000 jobs in July, the most since February. Also in July, consumers stepped up retail spending, factories produced more goods and the housing recovery continued with increases in both new and previously occupied homes.
The upward revision to second-quarter growth was largely because consumers spent at a slightly faster pace than first estimated. Consumer spending grew a 1.7 percent rate, better than the 1.5 percent initial estimated. Exports, which add to growth, were also stronger, growing at a 6 percent rate.
Government spending, which has been a drag on growth for the past two years, contracted again in the second quarter at a 0.9 percent rate. That was an improvement over an initial estimate of a 1.4 percent drop in government spending and reflected a much smaller dip in defense spending than first estimated.
All of the changes boosted economic output by $6.5 billion more than previously estimated, leaving total GDP at $13.56 trillion, after adjusting for inflation, in the second quarter.
Thursday, June 20 2013 12:47 AM EDT2013-06-20 04:47:07 GMT
DEWEY BEACH, Del.- Count Dewey Beach among the towns hosting a fireworks show this Fourth of July. But unlike other towns, Dewey might be making some history on Independence Day.Alex Pires and John Snow,More
Alex Pires and John Snow, representing the business group Highway One, are attempting to set a Guinness World Record for most fireworks set off in a ten minute period with a show put on above the bayside of Dewey Beach.More
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:44 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:44:04 GMT
LINCOLN, Del.- Delaware State Police are conducting a death investigation after human remains were located in a wooded stream bed near the railroad tracks in Lincoln early Tuesday afternoon. PoliceMore
Delaware State Police are conducting a death investigation after human remains were located in a wooded stream bed near the railroad tracks in Lincoln early Tuesday afternoon.More
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:23 AM EDT2013-06-19 15:23:06 GMT
HEBRON, Md.- Police have arrested a man accused of tampering with meat products at a Hebron grocery store. Stephen Charles Berry, 60, of Hebron, was taken into custody Tuesday and charged with five countsMore
Police have arrested a man accused of tampering with meat products at a Hebron grocery store.More
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:23 AM EDT2013-06-19 15:23:33 GMT
DOVER, Del.- Police have arrested two suspects and are looking for two others in connection with an early Wednesday home invasion in Dover. Dover police said the crime occurred at around 12:43 a.m. onMore
Police have arrested two suspects and are looking for two others in connection with an early Wednesday home invasion in Dover.More
Fourteen-year-old Christina Atkins died two years ago. Her family said she was in a locked bathroom at Beebe Medical Center in Lewes giving a urine sample, when she had some sort of a medical emergency. What exactly that emergency was remains a mystery. Regardless, she was behind a locked door. WBOC's Mike Chesney reports.More