Friday, August 27, 2010
Second-Quarter Economic Growth Revised Down to 1.6% - NYTimes.com
Economic statistics released Friday offered the clearest sign yet that the recovery, already acknowledged to be sauntering, had slowed to a crawl.
The government lowered its estimate of economic growth in the second quarter to an annual rate of 1.6 percent, after originally reporting last month that growth in the three-month period was 2.4 percent.
The revision is a significant slowdownfrom the annual rate of 3.7 percent in the first quarter and 5 percent in the last three months of 2009.
The news came at the end of a week that showed the economic retrenchment that began in the second quarter has spilled over into the summer. Existing home sales in July were down to their lowest level in a decade, and sales of new homes that month were at their lowest level since the government began tracking such data in 1963. Orders for large factory goods, excluding the volatile transportation sector, dropped in July, indicating that recovery in the manufacturing sector is also stalling.
With such grim reports, economists are now concerned that the outlook for job creation, which has been spluttering all summer, could deteriorate further. Companies and consumers tend to be spooked by bad news, and market analysts and economists worry that faltering confidence could cause employers to hold back on hiring.