US economic growth revised upwards for Q2

| September 30, 2011
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The Commerce Department has revealed the world’s largest economy grew by 1.3% on an annual basis in the April to June period – higher than an initial estimate of 1%.

The figure was also slightly higher than analysts’ expectations of 1.2% and follows a 0.4% growth rate in the first quarter of the year.

The upward revision was attributed to higher exports and strong spending and is the final figure for the second quarter.

For the first six months of the year, the economy expanded by 0.9% – this represented the lowest rate of growth in over two years.

Third quarter growth figures will be available next month and analysts are predicting an annualised growth rate of around 2%.

The US economy is struggling on the back of high unemployment and a depressed housing market.

Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, warned that the US economy is facing a national crisis due to its high unemployment rate, which currently stands at 9.1%.

Earlier this month, the US Labor Department revealed the economy added no new jobs last month, which was a surprise after markets had expected 70,000 new jobs.

This represented the first time since 1945 that there has been a zero payrolls figure after 17,000 jobs were added in the private sector last month but these were cancelled out by 17,000 jobs lost in the public sector.

Mr Bernanke is urging the Government to assist the long-term unemployment and suggested that Congress should take more action to address the issue.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama addressed the nation about a plan for job creation. He unveiled a $450 billion (£282 billion) package aimed at boosting the economy and reducing the federal deficit.

The bill includes tax cuts to workers and small businesses to boost job creation.

Mr Obama has previously said job creation is a top priority; continued high unemployment could threaten his prospects for re-election next year.

In the meantime, Mr Bernanke urged policymakers to introduce “housing policies” to boost the property market, which is currently struggling and many have suggested it is holding back the recovery.

Demand for housing in the US remains weak, despite mortgage rates hovering at record lows and falling house prices – the latter due to millions of home repossessions.

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