GDP Figure, Durable Goods Orders, Jobless Claims All Fall

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Three important points of economic data released today painted a mixed picture of the American economy's health.

  1. U.S. real gross domestic product increased an estimated 1.3% in the second quarter, according to a release from the Department of Commerce, down from a previous quarterly estimate of a 1.7% increase. That's down markedly from a 2% gain in real GDP in 2012's first quarter. The withering effects of this summer's harsh drought and a slowing of personal consumption expenditures and fixed investments contributed to the GDP's underwhelming performance.
  2. A second report by the Commerce Department highlighted sharply falling new orders for durable goods in August. Orders fell by more than $30 billion, to under $200 billion for the month, a 13.2% decrease that was the largest since January 2009 . It followed three consecutive monthly increases. Orders for transportation equipment fell the hardest, decreasing 35% for the month.
  3. On a positive note, seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment in the U.S. fell to 359,000 last week, according to a release from the Department of Labor. Claims fell 26,000 to a nine-week low, pushing the four-week moving average of initial claims down to 374,000 - breaking a six-week streak of that number increasing. The report also outlined the total number of unemployment benefits claims for the week ending Sept. 8, which declined year-over-year by nearly 2 million claims to 5.2 million.

The article GDP Figure, Durable Goods Orders, Jobless Claims All Fall originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributorDan Carrollholds no positions in the stocks mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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