WASHINGTON — The economic slowdown in spring was worse than most thought – and the current quarter isn’t looking that much stronger as manufacturing is weakening.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday revised down the nation’s economic growth in the second quarter to a 1.3 percent annual rate, down from its previous estimate of 1.7 percent.
Most analysts were expecting the government’s third and final report for the second quarter to show that gross domestic product – or total value of goods and services produced – expanded by 1.7 percent.
The economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the first quarter, which is hardly robust and not strong enough to bring down unemployment.
The downward revision for the April-June quarter was because of a drought-related drop in farm inventory investments, as well as lower consumer spending for services and weaker U.S. exports than previously estimated.
The farm sector likely will bounce back in the coming months. The bigger concern is manufacturing, which has been softening amid slowing business investment.
On Thursday, the Census Bureau said new orders for longer-lasting durable manufactured goods plunged 13.2 percent in August, compared with a 3.3 percent increase in July.