US continues improvement
WASHINGTON. The economy shrank at an annual rate of 1 percent in the spring, a better-than-expected showing and more evidence that the ...
WASHINGTON. The economy shrank at an annual rate of 1 percent in the spring, a better-than-expected showing and more evidence that the recession is drawing to a close.
Many analysts believe the economy is growing in the current quarter, but they caution that any rebound will not be accompanied initially by rising employment. Jobless claims figures released Thursday were better than expected, but remain well above levels associated with a healthy economy.
The Commerce Department's new estimate for the gross domestic product was unchanged from the initial figure it released last month. The drop, while representing a record fourth consecutive decline, was far smaller than the previous two quarters. It also was stronger than the 1.5 percent decline that private economists expected.
The report Thursday found that businesses slashed their inventories more than first reported and cut back more sharply on investment in new plants and equipment. But those reductions were offset by revisions that showed smaller dips in consumer spending, exports and housing construction. The recession that began in December 2007 is the longest since World War II, and the deepest in terms of the GDP drop.