1 Jun 2012

US growth slower than thought

8:46 am on 1 June 2012

The US economy grew at an annualised 1.9% in the first three months of 2012, less than the 2.2% previously thought.

The slower growth rate followed a modest downward revision in consumer spending. A rise in the growth in imports also accounted for the weaker outlook.

The second official estimate of gross domestic product from the Commerce Department also showed that after-tax corporate profits fell for the first time in three years.

The department said that after-tax corporate profits fell by 4.1%, the biggest fall since the last three months of 2008.

The figures showed that consumer spending grew at 2.7% instead of the previously estimated 2.9%, while a drop in government spending from 3.9% to 3% also held back economic growth.

In addition, businesses restocked at a modest pace, reflecting weakening demand.

The BBC reports employment data showed that private payroll growth rose only slightly in April. The Labor Department said claims for jobless benefits were higher last week. Non-farm payrolls will be issued on Friday.