Economic Growth Slower than Expected

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New figures released by the Commerce Department on Friday confirm the economy has gotten weaker and the recent recession was much worse than previously thought.

The economy only grew at a 1.3 percent rate in the second quarter of this year and just four-tenths of one percent in the first quarter.

The combined growth for the first six months of the year was the slowest since the recession ended.

High gas prices and scant income gains have forced consumers to pull back sharply on spending in the Spring.

Stock futures fell after the report was released.

For more on the state of the economy and what's affecting growth, CBN News spoke with Seton Motley, president of the group Less Government. Click play for his comments. 

"These numbers are extremely bad," said Nigel Gault, an economist at IHS Global Insight. "The momentum in the economy is clearly very weak."

Economists don't expect growth to pick up enough in the second half of the year to lower the unemployment rate, which rose to 9.2 percent last month.

The government also revised data going back to 2003. The data show the recession was even worse than previously thought.

The economy shrank 5.1 percent during the recession, which lasted from December 2007 through June 2009, compared to the earlier estimate of 4.1 percent.

Both figures represent the worst downturn since World War II.

"The depth of the recession is now clearly so much deeper," Gault said.

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