NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The economy grew at a slightly faster pace in the second quarter than previously thought, but the pace of growth is still painfully slow.
The nation's gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, was upwardly revised to an annual growth rate of 1.7% in the three months ending in June, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
While a slight uptick came as good news, the minor revision wasn't a major shocker either. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast the number to stay unchanged at 1.6%.
Less than 2% GDP growth is considered too sluggish to prompt businesses to start hiring again
"A little bit of good news is better than a little bit of bad news, but it's still just little," said Robert Brusca, chief economist, Fact and Opinion Economics.
Thursday's number is the government's third estimate for second-quarter GDP, after it sharply dropped its forecast in August from an initial 2.4% growth rate.
That revision was so dramatic, it shocked Wall Street and soon after, two thirds of economists surveyed by CNNMoney.com increased their forecasts for a double-dip recession.
But while the odds of the nation slipping back into recession are higher, they are still relatively unlikely at about one-in-four, the survey showed. But most economists are still predicting a weak economy going forward.
Overall, GDP continues to be dragged down by a widening trade deficit between the United States and foreign exporters, said Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo.
But the report did contain a small sign of hope for the recovery, he said: spending by both consumers and businesses was up significantly from the prior quarter, and investments in new equipment and software alone were up nearly 25%.
"When you look into the details of the report, consumer spending and business investment actually ticked up," Vitner said. "They're not off the charts, but they are posting very solid gains. So in some ways the economy looks a bit firmer."
American Airlines stock returned to Wall Street on Monday, emerging from bankruptcy after completing the merger with US Airways to form the world's largest airline company. More
The American Dream is supposed to mean that through hard work and perseverance, even the poorest people can make it to middle class or above. But it's actually harder to move up in America than it is in most other advanced nations. More
Holding on to Snowden's NSA documents "can get scary," says the New York Times' top tech executive. More
You have to search the fine print on Tegu's toy block set to find any hint of the company's plan to make one of Central America's poorest cities a better place. More
As usual, Congress has left all the year's major fiscal decisions to the last minute. More