Weak consumer spending stunted US growth in the last quarter, data showed Friday, leaving the race for the White House wide open and putting discussion about more economic stimulus firmly on the Fed’s agenda.
The Commerce Department reported second-quarter growth fell to 1.5 percent from 2.0 percent in the previous quarter, as Americans spent less on big-ticket items.
The growth rate was slightly above the level expected by economists, but not high enough to blunt concern that the recovery remains weak and vulnerable to shocks.
“The economy’s performance in the spring was better than the worst fears but not satisfactory by any gauge,” said Stephen Stanley of Pierpont Securities.
With almost 100 days left in the race to win the White House, the gross domestic product figure looked poised to reinforce the tone of the contest between President Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney.