Economic Growth Slows to 1.5 Percent: Recession Fears Rise

The U.S. economy grew at a sluggish rate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012--the slowest rate in a year--according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012, (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the first quarter, real GDP increased 2.0 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the second-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 3). The "second" estimate for the second quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on August 29, 2012.

The slow growth, which could indicate a slide back towards recession, was expected by economists, but is bad news for President Barack Obama's re-election effort. It sets up a fall campaign in which he will be challenged by Republican Mitt Romney on his economic record.


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