US grew at +1.7% pace in Q2

The U.S. economy expanded somewhat faster in the second quarter than originally reported because of higher consumer spending and slower growth in imports, the government said Wednesday.

Gross domestic product increased at a 1.7% rate in the April-to-June period, up from a first read of 1.5%, the Commerce Department said. GDP — the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. — is the broadest measure of an economy’s health.

The economy’s current level of growth, however, still falls well short of what’s needed to dramatically lower the nation’s high unemployment rate and eliminate the lingering threat of another recession.

The U.S. has grown at below-average rates since exiting the last recession in mid-2009, held back mainly by poor job growth. The nation’s unemployment rate has hovered above 8% for 42 straight months, marking the longest period of prolonged labor-market weakness since the Great Depression.

Nor do economists expect growth to accelerate much in the near future. The U.S. is projected to grow 2.0% in the third quarter and 1.9% in the final three months of the year. Soft consumer spending, weakness in the global economy and the threat of higher U.S. taxes and deep spending cuts next year are among the headwinds restraining growth, analysts say.

The slight increase in second-quarter GDP matched Wall Street expectations. U.S. stock futures turned slightly higher on the news.


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell