The United States economy grew slightly more than was previously reported in the second quarter of this year. The Commerce Department just released data showing the Gross Domestic Product, known as GDP, grew at an annual rate of 1.3%. This is the departments third and final estimate of the second quarter. The figure was revised up from a previous 1%.
There is cautious optimism the economy will avoid another downturn as factory output continues to expand at a slower pace than earlier in the recovery, and businesses maintain their appetite for spending on capital goods. Details of the GDP growth revisions were consistent with an economy that is on a slow growth track rather than one that is sliding back into recession.
Other data being released today showed a drop in new unemployment claims for last week. Applications for unemployment benefits fell by 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 391,000 claims in the week that ended Sept. 24, down from an upwardly revised 428,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Consumer spending growth was revised up to a 0.7 percent rate from 0.4 percent. The increase in spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity, was still the smallest since the fourth quarter of 2009, albeit a glimmer of hope.
Export growth was stronger than previously estimated, rising at a 3.6 percent rate instead of 3.1 percent. Imports increased at a 1.4 percent rate rather than 1.9 percent.
Business spending was revised to a 10.3 percent rate from 9.9 percent rate as investment in nonresidential structures offset a slight drop in outlays, equipment, and software. Spending on nonresidential structures was the fastest since the third quarter of 2007.
The Dow Jones Industrials is seeing gains today as this recent data suggests the economy isn’t as slow as previously reported.