U.S. GDP Falls More than Expected in Q2

It's a good-news-bad-news joke regarding the present and immediate future of the U.S. economy.

Figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Commerce Department revealed the stateside economy plunged at a record rate in the spring but is poised to swing to a record increase in the quarter that just ended.

Washington says that the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, fell at a rate of 31.4% in the April-June quarter, only slightly changed from the 31.7% drop estimated one month ago.

The new report, the government’s last look at the second quarter, showed a decline that was almost four times larger than the previous record-holder, a fall of 10% in the first quarter of 1958 when Dwight Eisenhower was president.

Economists believe the economy will expand at an annual rate of 30% in the current quarter as businesses have re-opened and millions of people have gone back to work. That would shatter the old record for a quarterly GDP increase, a 16.7% surge in the first quarter of 1950 when Harry Truman was president.