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Good economic news,

reported somewhat grudgingly by the Washington Post. The GDP (a broad measure of production of goods and services) grew at a 2.4 annual rate in the April-June period. This followed two quarters of growth at a 1.4 annual rate, and was “considerably greater than most analysts had expected,” according to the Post. The Post adds that “most forecasters are predicting much sharper gains, with growth reaching and perhaps topping a 4 percent annual rate in the second half of this year.” The April-June increase occurred “on the strength of consumer spending and a surge in defense purchases.” There are also signs “that industrial production has begun to rise.”
Finally, the Labor Department reported that initial claims for jobless benefits showed another drop last week, the second week in a row. New claims are down by about 13 percent since the beginning of April.

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