By Isaac Cohen*
The third and final revision of US economic growth figures, by the Department of Commerce, revealed a strong rebound during this year’s second quarter, between April and June. Coming back from the perplexing fall of 2.1 percent during the first quarter, attributed to bad weather, the US economy grew, during the second quarter, at a vigorous pace of 4.6 percent.
Business investment and exports were the main factors contributing to the rebound, while consumption still lags behind because of the stagnation in wages. During the second quarter, increases in corporate profits generated business investment in equipment and construction.
Exports were the other contributing factor, stimulated mainly by the United States becoming a net exporter of liquid fuels, surpassing Russia. On account of the utilization of new technologies, US domestic oil production has increased from 5 million barrels a day in 2005, to more than 8 million barrels a day this year. Additionally, domestic oil consumption has declined, because of increased fuel efficiency, by another 3 million barrels per day. Both these domestic factors have, thus far, cushioned oil prices against abrupt price increases, which may be caused by turmoil in the Middle East. The fact is Brent oil prices have decreased 13 percent this year, preventing an oil shock capable of setting back the economic recovery.
*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio. Former