(Reuters) - U.S. economic growth slowed in the second quarter as consumers spent at their slowest pace in a year, increasing pressure on policymakers to do more to bolster the recovery.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 1.5 percent annual rate between April and June, the weakest pace of growth since the third quarter of 2011, the Commerce Department said on Friday.
First-quarter growth was revised up by a tenth of a percent to a 2.0 percent pace.
Details of the report were weak. That, together with signs that activity slowed further early in the third quarter strengthens the argument for the Federal Reserve to offer the economy additional stimulus at its September meeting.
"The economy has lost altitude and flying pretty close to stall speed. Monetary policy is the only game in town and additional easing is highly likely," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, California.
The ailing economy could cost President Barack Obama a second term in office when Americans vote in November. Obama's approval rating on his handling of the economy is slipping.
A CBS News/New York Times poll published last week showed 39 percent of respondents approved of Obama's economic leadership while 55 percent disapproved. That represented a worsening from April, when 44 percent approved of the president's economic stewardship while 48 percent disapproved.
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