US economic growth upgraded to 4.2 percent

The nation’s economy grew more quickly than first estimated from April to June, expanding by 4.2 percent in the second quarter.

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A new report released Thursday by the Commerce Department says the economy surpassed the already robust growth of 4 percent that was initially estimated in July. The revised number exceeds the expectations of economists, who had predicted growth would remain near 4 percent.

The second estimate seems to confirm that the U.S. economy experienced a strong comeback in the second quarter of the year, after a brutal winter helped create a 2.1 percent contraction in the economy to open the year.

It also bolsters the notion that the U.S. economy is finally on the road to recovery, as most economic data in recent months has indicated solid growth and improvement.

Jason Furman, chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, said Thursday's report affirms that the economy has come back from a weak first quarter, which he attributed to largely "transitory" factors.

He also noted that in the last four quarters, the economy has grown at an average of 2.5 percent. That's compared to just 2 percent growth over the eight years prior, suggesting the economic recovery has hit a new, accelerated phase in the last year.

The Commerce Department said the economic numbers grew stronger due to heavier business investment than originally estimated, as well as robust numbers in exports, personal consumption, and state and local government spending.

On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office reported it expects the economy will grow at a 3.4 percent rate between 2014 and 2016.

— This post updated at 11:22 am.

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