U.S. economy continues to stumble along slowly

The U.S. says its economy advanced at an even slower pace than first thought in the April-to-June period.

The government said Thursday that the American economy grew 1.3 percent in the second quarter, down from an earlier projection of 1.7 percent. In a separate report, it said that orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods fell sharply in August, a new sign that factory production could diminish.

The U.S. has the world’s largest economy, but it has struggled to recover from the depths of the 2008 recession, the worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The state of the U.S. economy is the central issue in the country’s presidential election campaign. Many voters blame President Barack Obama for the sluggish pace of the recovery, possibly imperiling the re-election of the incumbent Democrat. Republican challenger Mitt Romney says the president’s economic policies have failed and that he could add 12 million new jobs over the next four years.

Despite this, both support for Obama among registered voters and his job approval rating have been 50 percent or higher.

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