G.D.P. Grew at 1.9% Rate in Quarter, a New Sign of Slowdown
Dogged by uneasiness over trade frictions and weak global growth, the American economy continued to slow over the summer. Gross domestic product -- the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy -- grew at a 1.9 percent annual rate for the third quarter, according to preliminary data released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday. Wall Street analysts had forecast a gain of 1.5 percent.
The year started out with a surge, but the pace of growth declined in the spring and again over the period that spanned July, August and September, the first time in a decade that the growth rate has fallen for two consecutive quarters.
Policymakers at the Federal Reserve are expected to end their two days of meetings in Washington on Wednesday afternoon with an announcement that the central bank will again drop its benchmark interest rate to prevent a slowdown from turning into a slide.
"We are expecting the Fed to lower rates," said Lydia Boussour, senior United States economist at Oxford Economics. "I think there is a stronger case now than just a few months ago."