US economy seen narrowly averting back-to-back contractions

The U.S. economy may have eked out modest growth in the second quarter, skirting back-to-back quarterly contractions, but rising at a tepid enough pace to feed concerns of an eventual downturn.

Economists expect gross domestic product grew an annualized 0.4% in the April-June period, which on the surface would be an improvement after the 1.6% drop in the first quarter. However, the breakdown of second-quarter GDP may illustrate a more concerning softening of demand.

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