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GDP Grew at 4.7% Rate in 2nd Quarter, Final Data Say

Economy: Figure, though slightly lower than earlier estimate, is still the highest in two years.

September 28, 1996|From Reuters

The economy expanded at a slightly less robust rate in the second quarter than previously thought, the Commerce Department said Friday, though it still surged ahead at the fastest rate in two years.

The nation's gross domestic product, or GDP, grew at a 4.7% annual rate from April through June, not 4.8% as had been previously estimated, the government said in a final revision of second-quarter activity.

The pace of expansion has begun to slow since mid-year. Most analysts are now forecasting growth in a range of 2% to 2.5% for the last six months of the year.

The last time the economy grew more vigorously was in the second quarter of 1994, when the annual growth rate was 4.9%.

The main reason for the slight revision is that federal spending was not as strong as earlier estimates had said. The Commerce Department said federal spending climbed at a $10.5-billion annual rate instead of the $11.9-billion rate estimated a month ago.

GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced by workers and capital within the U.S.

Second-quarter GDP grew at more than twice the rate registered in the first three months of the year, when the economy expanded at a 2% annual rate. Most of the final second-quarter revisions were small, and the Commerce Department said they did not change significantly from those in its earlier summation. "Growth was markedly higher in the second quarter than the first, and the step-up was mainly accounted for by an upturn in nonfarm business inventory investment and by a pickup in state and local government spending," the department said.

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