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The U.S. economy is growing, but not very rapidly considering the depth of the recession. Over the second and third quarters GDP is estimated to have risen at an average annual rate of about 2 percent, and many forecasters are predicting a similar rate of expansion in the fourth quarter. This growth rate is about in line with or even a little below the rate of growth of the economy's productive potential, and therefore employment has been slow to recover and the unemployment rate has remained at an elevated level of 9-1/2 percent for some time.
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