Sept. 29, 2004--The U.S. economy grew at a rate of 3.3% in the second quarter of 2004, an increase from earlier estimates but still the lowest growth rate posted in over a year.

The Commerce Department announced Wednesday that gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 3.3% in the second quarter of 2004, up of one-half a percentage point from preliminary estimates of 2.8% released last month. But the increase marked a drop-off from the first-quarter growth pace of 4.5%, and represented the lowest growth rate since the first quarter of 2003.

The department's Bureau of Economic Analysis attributed the adjustment in its GDP figures to revised data on foreign trade and inventory investment.

"The deceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter reflected decelerations in personal consumption expenditures and in private inventory investment and an acceleration in imports that were partly offset by accelerations in nonresidential fixed investment and in residential fixed investment," the BEA said in its report.

Real GDP measures the output of goods and services produced by labor and property within the United States and is considered the most comprehensive measure of U.S. economic activity.

The Commerce Department also reported that second-quarter corporate profits increased at a 0.7% clip, representing an upward revision of 0.6% from previous estimates.