Taking a closer look, the government said Friday that economic growth during the first quarter of 2010 wasn't as strong as analysts first thought, as spending by consumers was lower than earlier estimates.
The Commerce Department
pushed down the previously reported 3 percent growth in the gross domestic product to 2.7 percent, a disappointment when compared to the 5.6 percent increase in GDP during the last quarter of 2009. A slowdown in business investment in inventory and fewer exports were partly responsible for the adjustment.
Even so, the U.S. economy has expanded for three consecutive quarters after declining for four straight ones during the deep recession in late 2008 and 2009. In ordinary times, growth of 2.7 percent would be seen as healthy, the Associated Press
said, but not so in a recovery from a serious recession. After the downturn in the early 1980s -- at the beginning of the Reagan years -- the economy grew at rates of 7 percent to 9 percent for five quarters in a row.
But there were some encouraging signs. Consumer spending was up overall, and GDP growth has averaged 3.5 percent over the last three quarters.