(Trends Wide Business) — The economy’s rating in the first full quarter of Biden’s administration as president: good, but not great.
The United States economy grew in the second quarter at a slightly faster rate than previously reported, thanks to increased consumer spending, exports and inventory investment, the Office of Economic Analysis reported Thursday.
This is the second time that the growth rate for the quarter has been revised upwards.
Gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic activity, expanded at a rate of 6.7% between April and June, instead of 6.6% and 6.5% in previous estimates.
Yet even with the new upward revision, that growth is still below expectations, said Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics.
The limited growth is largely due to “supply chain disruptions, which worsened in the third quarter,” Englund added in a note to clients.
However, Americans spent a lot on services in the spring and early summer, especially on eating out and travel, due to rising vaccination rates. They also spent on pharmaceuticals and clothing and footwear. Hotels and restaurants contributed the most to GDP growth in the sector comparison.
The price index that tracks consumer spending, the so-called PCE price index, which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, remained unchanged from previous estimates at 6.5%. It is the highest level since the early 1980s.
The report also included a tally of corporate profits: America’s banks and finance companies saw their profits rise by $ 52.8 billion in the second quarter, compared to a paltry $ 1.3 billion increase in the first quarter.
Profits for all other companies increased by $ 221.3 billion, compared to $ 133.2 billion in the first three months of the year.
Unemployment Benefit Claims Hit Highest Level in Seven Weeks
In other economic data, weekly jobless claims rose to 362,000 last week, including adjustments for seasonal variations, according to the Labor Department. Without seasonal adjustments, applications decreased slightly.
It was the highest level of applications since the beginning of August, as well as the first time since the start of the pandemic that applications increased for three consecutive weeks.
“However, the current situation is very different from then, so I would be very careful when making that comparison” with the onset of the pandemic, said PNC chief economist Gus Faucher in a note to clients. , adding that “the level of initial applications is now only 6% of what it was then.”
Continuous claims for unemployment benefits, which count workers who applied for benefits for at least two weeks in a row, had a slight variation in the week ending September 18.
In the week ending September 11, 5 million American workers received benefits under various government programs, up from more than 11 million the week before, showing that the end of unemployment programs for the government’s pandemic era is being reflected in the weekly data.