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Q2 GDP revised to annual rate of 1.6% growth, imports rose 32.4%

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Second-quarter economic growth in the US slowed to an annual rate of 1.6%, which is slightly better than what analysts were projecting but down from prior Commerce Department estimates. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected the second-quarter revision to show GDP rose at annual rate of 1.4%. While a MarketWatch survey put the figure at 1.3%. In July, the advance estimate from the Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis for second-quarter GDP – measured as the output of goods and services produced by US labor and property – called for growth of 2.4%. Real GDP rose 3.7% in the first quarter. The BEA said increased imports and lower private-inventory investment hindered second-quarter growth. Exports during the quarter rose 9.1%, but imports rose 32.4%, which is the largest increase in more than two decades. For the first quarter, imports rose 11.2% while exports were 11.4% higher. Still increased local and federal government spending helped the GDP during the second quarter, as well as higher investment in residential and nonresidential securities, according to the federal agency. Later today, the final Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment for August is published and analysts project a slight increase to 70 from 69.6. And Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is set to deliver a speech at the Fed’s annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Specifics about Bernanke’s address aren’t known, but most expect him to discuss the overall economic recovery and how the Fed plans to keep deflation at bay. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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