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Economic Preview: Businesses slash spending. Are jobs next?

Reuters

American consumers are doing the heavy lifting for the U.S. economy with businesses sitting on the sidelines.

Just a few days ago, the Federal Reserve said the risks to the U.S. economy’s heath had “diminished.” Apparently the central bank spoke too soon.

The government last week reported that gross domestic product grew a disappointing 1.2% in the second quarter, the third listless reading in a row. Over the past 12 months, the economy has turned in its weakest performance since 2013.

The hangover from the GDP, however, could lift as soon as Friday if the latest employment report for July shows steady gains in hiring.

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