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In the second half of 2003 the US economy grew at an annual rate of 6 percent The pickup momentum showed no sign of abating in the first quarter of 2004 and is projected to continue in the rest of the year Gross domestic product GDP in the year increased by 31 percent the growth rate in the third quarter in particular reached 82 percent In the opinion of US mainstream economists this is a natural reflection of the growth of US labor productivity The personal consumption expenditure which accounts for about two thirds of the countrys gross domestic product GDP and serves as a major engine of economic growth has been increasing The expenditure expanded 05 percent and 02 percent in the first two months 2004 respectively US economists said that the annual growth rate of US labor productivity was 3 percent - 4 percent plus the 1 percent contribution of the increase in labor force The number of new unemployment benefit claimants in the country fell 14000 to a three-year low of 328000 and employers added 308000 new workers to payrolls in March the highest level in four years Planned job cuts also dropped to 68034 in April a 20 percent decline from last year survey by Challenger Gray and Christmas an outplacement company showed According to statistics released by the US Department of Commerce personal consumption government expenditure private investment and export growth are the four pillars for the growth of the US economy Viewed from the contribution of the countrys economic growth the contribution of personal consumption and government expenditure to economic growth assumed a downward trend while the contribution of private investment and exportation to economic growth witnessed a fairly big rise Investment by private departments has shaken off the negative growth registered since 2001 a 41 percent rise has emerged and export also has risen by 19 percent The increase of investment by private departments was benefited from
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