The US economy sputtered to an anemic1.6% increase in GDP during the third quarter of 2006, the worst showing in three-and-a-half years.
Economic growth slowed to a crawl in the third quarter, advancing at a pace of just 1.6 percent, the worst in more than three years.
The latest snapshot of the economy, released by the Commerce Department on Friday, showed that the slumping housing market figured prominently in the economy’s dramatic loss of momentum. Investment in homebuilding was cut by the biggest amount since early 1991.
The reading on gross domestic product was weaker than the 2.1 percent pace many economists were forecasting.
The third quarter’s 1.6 percent growth rate was the weakest since the first quarter of 2003, when the economy grew at a 1.2 percent annual rate.
The latest performance underscores just how much speed the economy has lost this year.
In the opening quarter, the economy grew at a brisk 5.6 percent pace, the strongest growth spurt in 2 1/2 years. But growth slowed to a 2.6 percent pace in the second quarter as consumers and businesses tightened the belt in response to the toll of rising energy prices and the impact of two-plus years of rising borrowing costs.
Karl E. Rove: SUPER genius.