I know people don't like bad news; they like to live in their comfortable little bubble where everything is okay. But we are not going to get through this. Not by pretending it'll go away and assuming the State is going to figure out a way to fix all this. The only way you'll get through is to assume the worst - because the worst is what you'll get - and prepare accordingly.
- Associated Press -
Businesses and governments are likely to reduce spending in the second half of the year. Consumers, who drive most economic growth, aren't expected to take up the slack.
The Commerce Department said Friday that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.7 percent in the first quarter, offering its third and final estimate for the period. It was slower than initially thought because consumers spent less and imports rose faster that previously calculated.
Economists anticipate even slower growth ahead as companies bring their stockpiles more in line with sales. Factory output has climbed this year. But it was driven more by businesses replenishing their warehouses after the recession and less by consumer demand.
"The economy is growing, but still at a disappointingly slow pace," said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities. Take away businesses restocking their inventories and "you still have a lukewarm recovery," he said.
Other factors could hold back growth. Federal government stimulus spending is expected to fade. The European debt crisis could slow U.S. exports and world trade. And state and local governments are likely to rein in spending and raise taxes as they struggle to close budget gaps.