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U.S. recovery hopes fade as economic growth dips

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Neil Irwin and Sonja Ryst
Washington Post
July 31, 2010

The recovery is fading, and a troubling new pattern is setting in: economic growth that is too slow to put Americans back to work.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the April-through-June period, the government said Friday, down from 5 percent at the end of 2009 and 3.7 percent at the beginning of this year.

The good news is that it was the fourth consecutive quarter of economic growth and that the expansion continued despite a crisis overseas and palpitations in global financial markets. The bad news is that the growth was below the long-term trend rate at which the U.S. economy expands and is not strong enough to drive down unemployment. And more worrisome, many of the details of the report point to a continued slowdown of expansion this year.

“The post-recession rebound is history,” said Bart van Ark, chief economist of the Conference Board, a business research group. “We don’t foresee a double dip, but we do expect growth to slow even more markedly . . . in the second half of the year.”

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This article was posted: Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 2:30 am





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