Report: U.S. Economy ‘Sluggish’

Blame the severe drought plaguing the Midwest or the reduced demand for airplanes—either way you spin it, the news is dismal. The Commerce Department on Thursday revised growth for the second quarter from a 1.7 percent annual rate to a 1.3 percent annual rate—possibly due to reduced farm production that resulted from severe droughts across the Midwest. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau reported that orders for expensive, long- lasting durable goods, fell 13.2 percent in August, thanks in large measure to a decline in airplane orders. The numbers are most likely a welcome boost for Republican nominee Mitt Romney, as he pleads for support in the battleground of Ohio Thursday.