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U.S. Economy Shrinks at Record 32.9% Pace in Second Quarter

  • Personal spending slumped by the most in records to 1940s
  • Separate report showed second straight gain in jobless claims
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El-Erian Says U.S. Economy Stalling, Fiscal Help Needed
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The U.S. economy suffered its sharpest downturn since at least the 1940s in the second quarter, highlighting how the pandemic has ravaged businesses across the country and left millions of Americans out of work.

Gross domestic product shrank 9.5% in the second quarter from the first, a drop that equals an annualized pace of 32.9%, the Commerce Department’s initial estimate showed on Thursday. That’s the steepest annualized decline in quarterly records dating back to 1947 and compares with analyst estimates for a 34.5% contraction. Personal spending, which makes up about two-thirds of GDP, slumped an annualized 34.6%, also the most on record.