U.S. Economy Slowed Sharply in First Half of 2011

Sluggish second quarter follows near stagnant first.

By Peter Fulham
Slate July 29, 2011



The U.S. economy suffered another quarter of sluggish economic growth from April to June, growing a mere 1.3 percent, according to a Commerce Department report released Friday.

The numbers present the latest sign that high gas prices, high unemployment and meager income gains this year continue to slow down growth. The disappointing report also underscores possible political trouble for President Obama, as he hopes to convince Americans in the 2012 election that he has the ability to turn around a stagnant economy.

In its report, the Commerce Department also revised its growth estimate for the first quarter of this year, lowering it sharply from 1.9 percent to 0.4 percent. The unemployment rate remains at 9.2 percent, and experts say U.S. economic growth is unlikely to increase rapidly enough to make a dent in it.

In trading this morning on the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 100 points, taking a hit in the wake of the economic report and deadlock in Congress over the debt ceiling negotiations.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
Source: Slate
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