WASHINGTON — The annual growth rate of the nation’s economy was revised downward to 1.6% in the preliminary estimate for the second quarter due to greater imports and reduced inventory investment and exports, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Second-quarter growth initially was estimated at 2.4% on July 30.

“This downward revision shows that the economy lost momentum, especially at the end of the quarter,” Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics, said in a research note. “This suggests that it will be difficult for Q3 growth to accelerate sharply, especially with the inventory cycle largely complete, federal fiscal stimulus diminishing, and state and local government fiscal contraction.”

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