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President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Thursday on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

The U.S. economy contracted for the second straight quarter from April to June, hitting a widely accepted rule of thumb for a recession, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday.

Gross domestic product fell 0.9% at an annualized pace for the period, according to the advance estimate. That follows a 1.6% decline in the first quarter and was worse than the Dow Jones estimate for a gain of 0.3%.

After posting its strongest gain since 1984 last year, the U.S. economy began to slow earlier this year due to a confluence of factors.

Inflation began its steep ascent a year ago and then exploded in 2022, hitting its highest 12-month increase since 1981 in June. A slow-footed response by policymakers initially has resulted in some of the biggest interest rate increases the U.S. has ever seen.

The Federal Reserve over the past four months has raised benchmark borrowing rates by 2.25 percentage points. Back-to-back 0.75 percentage point increases in June and July mark the most aggressive two-month hikes since the Fed began using overnight rates as the primary policy tool in the early 1990s.

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President Biden delivers remarks on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 — 7/28/2022