WASHINGTON – The Commerce Department on Friday lowered its estimate of economic growth in the second quarter from 2.4 percent to 1.6 percent, less than half the 3.7 percent annual growth rate in the first quarter.
The GDP number, which measures the total output of U.S. goods and services, suggests that economic recovery has slowed to a crawl. The government has revised last month’s second-quarter growth estimate of 2.4 percent.
By comparison, the economy grew by 3.7 percent in the first quarter and by 5 percent in the last quarter of 2009.
The economic slowdown is partly due to an increase in imports during the second quarter, which counts against GDP growth.
Imports jumped by 32.4 percent in the second quarter, while exports increased only 9.1 percent.
The slight growth in GDP was attributed to nonresidential and residential fixed investments, such as buildings and technology, consumer spending, exports, government spending, and private inventory investment.
Consumer spending grew by 2 percent during the second quarter, a slight uptick from a 1.9 percent increase in consumer spending during the first quarter.
Federal defense spending increased by 7.3 percent during the second quarter, and state and local government spending increased by 1.2 percent, compared to a 3.8 percent decrease in the first quarter.