Business

US economic growth rate at 1.3% in second quarter

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The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 1.3% between April and June, the Commerce Department has said in its third estimate for the quarter.

This is higher than the 1% growth it reported in its second estimate, but the same as its first calculation for the three month period.

Consumer spending and exports were both stronger than previously estimated.

Last week, the Federal Reserve unveiled a new plan to try to help the economy.

Under a scheme dubbed Operation Twist, the US central bank is selling about $400bn (£260bn) worth of bonds maturing within three years and buying longer-term debt.

The sluggish growth in the US economy has not been sufficient to reduce high levels of unemployment, with the jobless rate in August at 9.1%.

For the first six months of 2011 the US economy expanded by 0.9%, the lowest rate of growth in more than two years.

Joe Manimbo, analyst at Travelex Global Payments in Washington, welcomed the latest economic growth figures.

"The final print of second-quarter GDP came out a little bit faster than expected and that suggests the US economy entered the third quarter on a slightly better footing," he said.

Most economists expect the economy to improve in the third quarter, with predictions that it will grow at an annualised pace of about 2%.

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