The American economy expanded more slowly than expected from April to June, the government reported Thursday, while numbers for the last three months of 2007 were revised downward to show a contraction -- the first official slide backward since the last recession in 2001.
Economists construed the tepid growth in the second quarter, combined with a surge in claims for unemployment benefits, as a clear indication that the economy remains mired in the weeds of a downturn. Many said the data increased the likelihood that a recession began late last year.
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