The US economy: GDP is growing, but not going gangbusters

The port strike was just a temporary drain on exports.
The port strike was just a temporary drain on exports.
Image: Reuters/Bob Riha Jr
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The American economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.3% in the second quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

That’s not as a high as analysts were expecting (2.7%). But it is a lot better than the first quarter. Earlier estimates of the first three months of 2015 said the economy shrank. (The most recent report said the economy contracted at a 0.2% rate during the first three months of 2015.)

Exports helped growth in the second quarter, which shows that the economic disruption from the West Coast port strike was short-lived. Spending from consumers and local governments also gave growth a lift.

On the deficit side of the ledger, inventory building and residential real estate slowed, and federal government spending and business investment contracted.

Final sales, a measure of GDP growth when you strip out unsold business inventories swung higher to 2.4% in the second quarter after falling 0.2% in the first.