Explaining Southern California's economy

Economic growth still slow in the USA

NYSE trading floor

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Trades at the New York Stock Exchange. They'll probably take slow U.S. growth in stride and remain focused on troubles in Europe.

The Commerce Department today released data on the second-quarter performance of the U.S. economy, and the best word to describe that performance is "pathetic." The economy expanded by 1.5 percent, after growing by a revised 2 percent in the first quarter (up from the previously reported 1.9 percent).

It could have been worse (Double secret pathetic?). But for the first half of 2012, the economy is staging a repeat performance of 2011, when the economy grew at a rate of 1.8 percent for the entire year. 

Despite the bad news, the economy is still growing. That will keep the threat of recession at bay, even if many Americans, especially those among the ranks of the unemployed, feel like the Great Recession never went away. The U.S. is on the road to have a $16-trillion economy by 2012-13, by far the world's largest.