0727 construction
Pedestrians walk past new homes under construction and for sale in Alhambra, east of downtown Los Angeles on July 18, 2012 in Calif. - 

Jeff Horwich: Four times a year, the U.S. Department of Commerce serves up the big number that tells us how much we are producing as a country. U.S. second quarter GDP grew more than many economists had expected. That does not make it good.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall-Genzer has more.

Nancy Marshall-Genzer: GDP grew at a rate of 1.5 percent from April to June; that's the weakest growth rate since last summer. Much of the slowdown was caused by reduced consumer demand. Spending on durable goods like cars was down 1 percent.

David Kelly is chief global strategist for JP Morgan Funds.

David Kelly: There's a lot of hesitancy in the economy and people are waiting to see. The problem is there's a lot of confusion from policy makers at both the Federal Reserve and federal government. So there's a certain lethargy to the economy right now; that's really what's keeping it slower than we'd like.

Everybody's waiting to see if Washington can swerve at the last minute to avoid a fiscal cliff of tax hikes and drastic spending cuts at the beginning of next year. Still, there are few bright spots: Exports are up, and spending on construction is still on the rise.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall-Genzer for Marketplace.