The federal government Thursday released two very different estimates of the U.S. economy's growth rate in the second quarter. The one that got all the attention was the robust 3.7 percent annual rate of increase in gross domestic product. Not many people noticed that gross domestic income increased at an annual rate of just 0.6 percent.

That's a big discrepancy for two numbers that should theoretically be the same, since they're two ways of measuring the same thing: the size of the economy. If you believe the GDP number, you're happy. If you believe the GDI number, you're thinking that the United States is skating close to a recession.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis always gives more prominence to the GDP number. But for the first time Thursday in a quarterly report, it released an average of GDP and GDI growth rates. That average came in at 2.1 percent after rounding.

Bloomberg News