Among other things, lukewarm consumption is to blame, the U.S. Department of commerce announced in an initial estimate on friday in washington. Growth was still a revised 2.0 percent in the first three months, down from a revised 4.1 percent (previously: 3.0 percent) in the final quarter of 2011.
However, experts had expected an even sharper slowdown in the second quarter of 2012. They had expected a growth rate of only 1.4 percent.
The latest figures mean more bad news for president barack obama, who will have to fear for his re-election in november. Growth and unemployment are key issues in the election campaign.
According to the ministry, private consumption, which accounts for around 70 percent of the US economy, rose by only 1.5 percent – in the first quarter, the rate was still a revised 2.4 percent. Analysts attributed the reluctance of americans to spend in part to the euro crisis and the threat of u.S. Tax increases.
"We are starting the second half of the year on a not-so-good footing," said an analyst from the bloomberg economic agency. "The economy is slowing down noticeably." He added: "given the risks, it is unlikely that the fed will remain inactive for the rest of the year." Experts are therefore eagerly awaiting the next fed interest rate meeting in early august.
For weeks now, financial markets have been speculating on a new bond-buying program, which the U.S. Central bank could use to stimulate the economy. However, central bank chief ben bernanke had rather dampened hopes of imminent action.
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