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U.S. Economy: Growth Faster Than Initially Estimated on Exports

Courtney Schlisserman and Timothy R. Homan
Bloomberg [1]
Thursday, August 28, 2008

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. economy expanded faster than previously estimated in the second quarter, helped by a surge in exports that will probably wane as Europe and Japan head toward recessions.

Gross domestic product increased at a 3.3 percent annual pace, compared with the initial estimate of 1.9 percent, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Trade contributed the most to U.S. growth in almost three decades.

The expansion is likely to weaken in the second half as consumers burdened with falling home values and dwindling job prospects rein in spending. Separate figures today showed the number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits reached a five-year high last week.


“Outside of trade, the economy is considerably weaker,” said Carl Riccadonna, an economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. “When you look at the spending, it looks terrible for the second half of the year.”

The increase in GDP last quarter was bigger than the median estimate of a 2.7 percent gain in a Bloomberg News survey of 78 forecasters. The expansion was the fastest since the third quarter of 2007 and followed growth of 1.9 percent in the first three months of the year.

Treasuries dropped after today’s reports, sending benchmark 10-year note yields up to 3.80 percent at 10:18 a.m. in New York, from 3.77 percent late yesterday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index rose 0.7 percent to 1,290.95.