The U.S. economy expanded at a slower pace in the second quarter as a softening job market prompted Americans to curb spending.
Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a 1.5 percent annual rate after a revised 2 percent gain in the prior quarter, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 1.4 percent increase. Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the world’s largest economy, grew at the slowest pace in a year.
With today’s release, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis also issued revisions dating back to the first quarter of 2009. The changes showed the first year of the recovery from the worst recession in the post-World War II era was even weaker than previously estimated.
GDP grew 2.5 percent in the 12 months after the contraction ended in June 2009, compared with the 3.3 percent gain previously reported, the Commerce Department said.
The final quarter of last year was revised up to a 4.1 percent gain, the best performance in almost six years, underscoring a more marked slowdown in the first half of 2012. The fourth quarter gain was previously reported as 3 percent.