US economy grows less than anticipated

<p>The US economy has expanded at a slower-than-expected rate.</p>

Growth in the US in the second quarter of the year was less than expected, with ongoing droughts damaging farm inventories and pulling down revenues.

This is according to fresh Commerce Department data that put gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter at an annual rate of expansion of 1.3 per cent, which is down from an original forecast of 1.7 per cent.

One of the worst dry spells in 50 years has been doing untold damage to the country's farming belt, slashing yields, while durable goods orders are also down by 13.2 per cent in August, indicating even slower growth in the third quarter.

On a quarter-by-quarter basis, US GDP was on the increase by 0.3 per cent between April and June.

This provides ammunition for president Barack Obama's rival in the US elections Mitt Romney, who has put the slow economic recovery at the heart of his campaign.

At 16:45 BST, the Dow Jones was marginally higher to an index value of 13424.45 points and the Nasdaq gained nearly 0.5 per cent to 3108.97 points.

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