WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew modestly over the summer after nearly stalling in the first six months of the year, lifted by stronger consumer spending and greater business investment.
The Commerce Department says the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the July-September quarter. That’s nearly double the 1.3 percent growth in the April-June quarter, and a vast improvement over the anemic 0.9 percent growth for the entire first half of the year.
While 2.5 percent growth is enough to ease recession fears, it’s far below what’s needed to lower painfully high unemployment. Analysts project similar growth for the October-December quarter.
Consumers spent at an annual rate of 2.4 percent – triple the rate of spring. They spent more on cars, clothing and health care, and utilities.