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Washington – The U.S. economy slowed to a modest growth rate of 1.9% in the summer as consumer spending downshifted and businesses continued to trim their investments in response to trade war uncertainty and a weakening global economy.

The Commerce Department reported that the July-September performance for the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, was just below the 2% rate of growth in the second quarter.

Economists had been forecasting a much bigger slowdown with fears GDP could slump to 1.4% or less given a number of headwinds.

Still, the GDP gain was far below the 3%-plus increases that President Donald Trump has set as a benchmark to demonstrate that his policies are succeeding in lifting the economy above the modest 2.2% growth of the Obama years.

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