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Weak 2Q GDP Means No Fed Rate Hike but Election Uncertainty

The U.S. economy grew at an annual 1.2% rate in the second quarter, undoing some of the groundwork for the Federal Reserve to resume raising interest rates after the presidential election in 101 days, and doing little to clarify whether Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton will claim the prize.

The second-quarter GDP report fell well short of the mean prediction of 2.6% annualized growth, as reported in a Wall Street Journal survey of economic forecasters. Some forecasts had been slipping in the days leading up to the report, as data on durable goods orders came in well short of expectations on Thursday. Moody's Analytics, the nation's largest forecasting firm, had gone from a 2.8% tracking forecast to 2.1%.

Consumer spending, the largest part of the economy, rose at a healthy 4.2% clip during the quarter, indicating that consumers aren't disturbed by the political campaign or worries...