U.S. Economy Grows for 12th Straight Quarter
By MacKenzie C. Babb
Washington - The U.S. economy posted its 12th straight quarter of positive growth as gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by an annualized rate of 1.5 percent from April to June, according to a new Commerce Department report.
"Today's advance estimate of real GDP shows that our economy continues to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression," said acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank following the report's July 27 release by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Blank said the growth in GDP, the total amount of goods and services produced by the country, largely coincides with 28 straight months of private sector employment gains that have totaled 4.4 million new jobs.
Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said that while the U.S. economy "continues to move in the right direction, additional growth is needed to replace jobs lost in the deep recession that began at the end of 2007."
Blank said the slow growth is due to several head winds, including a decline in state and local government activity and economic slowdowns in other countries.
Growth from April to June dropped by a quarter from 2 percentage points during the first three months of 2012, and came in significantly lower than the 4.1 percent annualized GDP growth during the fourth quarter of 2011.
This deceleration in growth was largely due to a drop in personal spending and residential fixed investment and an increase in imports. The slowing was partly offset by an upturn in private inventory investment, a smaller decrease in federal government spending and an acceleration in exports, according to the report.
The new release also provided an annual revision of GDP figures back to 2009. While it did not meaningfully change the pace of growth over the period, it did revise the expansion of the economy to 6.7 percent overall during the last three years with private components of GDP growing by 9.9 percent during the period.
Revised second-quarter figures based on new data will be released August 29, according to the Commerce Department.
(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.)