WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy's slowdown in growth at the beginning of the year wasn't quite as bad as first thought, thanks to a bigger boost from housing and less drag from business investment and trade.
The gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, grew at an annual rate of 0.8
It was the second
Economists are forecasting a rebound in the current quarter to growth of around 2
For the first quarter, consumer spending, which accounts for 70
The upward revision from the initial estimate of 0.5
In the second half of the year, economists are forecasting that growth will strengthen further to around 2.5
Employers added another 160,000 jobs in April, a solid gain even if it was down from an average increase of 243,000 in the prior six months. The unemployment rate remained at a low 5
The U.S. economic expansion will celebrate its seventh birthday next month, making it the fourth longest recovery since World War II. But it has also been the slowest, averaging modest annual growth of 2.1
"While that growth is nothing to write home about, we are relatively better off than many of our trading partners," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University, Channel Islands.
Financial markets went into a nosedive at the beginning of the year, dragged down by worries about global growth and a sharp slowdown in China, the world's second largest economy. There were serious concerns that the U.S. economy, because of stalling global growth, could be headed back into recession.
Since then, markets have recovered all their early-year losses. Recent data has shown that key sectors of the economy, from consumer spending to housing, have improved.
The Federal Reserve surprised investors last week when it released minutes of its April meeting showing that Fed officials believed that a rate hike in June was likely if the economy kept improving. The Fed raised a key rate in December by a quarter-point but has left rates unchanged so far this year.