Economic Preview: The economy is likely to get a mediocre grade on its next report card, but don’t take it at face value

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The final report card on second-quarter GDP is likely to be disappointing, but a read between the lines should show the U.S. economy still gets a passing grade.

Sometimes final grades don’t tell us much about true performance. Take the supposedly slowing U.S. economy.

The government’s official report card on economic growth, known as gross domestic product, is likely to show the economy turned wobbly in the spring. Except that it almost certainly didn’t.

Economists polled by MarketWatch predict GDP growth slowed to 2.1% annual pace in the second quarter from 3.1% in the first three months of the year. Ditto for Macroeconomic Advisors, perhaps Wall Street’s premier forecasting firm.

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