Portrait of a stumbling economy, at a glance

What a difference seven months make.

What a difference seven months make.

At the start of the year, economists were optimistic that growth would accelerate. Hiring was picking up, boosting incomes and giving consumers more spending power. The government had cut taxes at the end of 2010, putting more money in Americans' wallets.

But so far this year, the economy has weakened. It grew at an annual rate of just 0.8 percent in the first six months.

Gasoline prices spiked this spring, making it harder for consumers to spend more on other items. Manufacturing supplies were disrupted after Japan's earthquake. Economists are worried the weakness will persist.

The faltering economy can be seen in a range of indicators that have deteriorated since the second half of last year:

ECONOMY:

(Growth at an annual rate)

3.8 percent: April-June 2010

2.5 percent: July-Sept. 2010

2.3 percent: Oct.-Dec. 2010

0.4 percent: Jan.-March 2011

1.3 percent: April-June 2011

HIRING:

(Average monthly net job gains or losses)

-46,000: July-Sept. 2010

139,000: Oct.-Dec. 2010

166,000: Jan.-March 2011

87,000: April-June 2011

117,000: July 2011

CONSUMER SPENDING:

(Growth, annual rate)

2.6 percent, July-Sept. 2010

3.6 percent, Oct.-Dec. 2010

2.1 percent, Jan.-March 2011

0.1 percent, April-June 2011

AFTER-TAX PERSONAL INCOME:

(Growth, annual rate)

2.3 percent: July-Sept. 2010

1.5 percent: Oct.-Dec. 2010

0.7 percent: Jan.-March 2011

0.7 percent: April-June 2011

MANUFACTURING ACTIVITY:

(Institute for Supply Management index; a reading of 50 indicates expansion)

55.3: September 2010

58.5: December 2010

61.2: March 2011

55.3: June 2011

50.9: July 2011

HOME SALES:

(Sales of previously occupied homes)

4.9 million: 2008

5.2 million: 2009

4.9 million: 2010

4.8 million: Sales, annual pace, June 2011

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