Sunday 17 December 2017

US growth slows in Q2 as consumers curb spending

Shobhana Chandra

THE US economy grew more slowly in the second quarter, as American consumers and government curbed spending, but did slightly better than analysts expected.

Gross domestic product rose at a 1.5pc annual rate, after a revised 2pc gain in the prior quarter, the Commerce Department said.

Household spending, which accounts for about 70pc of American GDP, grew at the slowest pace in a year.

Europe's debt crisis and looming US tax changes threaten to keep the expansion in check, analysts said.

"We're not going to bust out of this moderate-growth recovery we've been in for quite some time," said Dean Maki, chief US economist at Barclays Capital in New York.

"Growth is slow, but not fragile, and there may be a modest pick-up in the second half."

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 Two era was even weaker than previously estimated. In the first three years of this recovery, the US economy grew 6.7pc, compared with an average 14pc gain during comparable periods in expansions dating back to 1948.

Another report yesterday showed consumer confidence in July dropped to the lowest level this year.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of sentiment declined to 72.3 this month, as retail sales fell in June for a third consecutive month, the longest period of decline since 2008.

Irish Independent

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