Economy rebounds in second quarter, spurred by exports (Washington Post, 8/28/2008):
U.S. economic growth accelerated from April to June as taxpayers spent their federal rebate checks and a weakened dollar boosted exports, the government reported today.
According to new data from the Department of Commerce, gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 3.3 percent in the second quarter of the year, the fastest rate since mid-2007. The department had initially estimated growth for the period to be 1.9 percent, but more complete data -- particularly on exports by U.S. companies -- showed the economy to be growing faster.
The new data offer a respite from a period of sluggish growth. GDP shrank in the last three months of 2007 and grew at an annual rate of less than 1 percent from January to March of this year.
Whether that pace of growth continues, however, is another issue.
Taxpayers in May and June, for example, received more than $100 billion in rebates from the federal government. That money helped boost consumer spending compared to the prior quarter -- but won't be available to sustain it going forward.
A recent recovery in the value of the dollar, meanwhile, and slowing growth abroad could temper what has been a rapid rise in exports. Exports have been a key support for a U.S. economy buffeted by a falling real estate market and a financial crises that has spread from brokerage firms to include banks and mainstay companies such as mortgage giant Fannie Mae.
Yes, but now gas prices are falling. It looks like amidst all the doom-and-gloom, we may not even hit a recession.