Economy expands at faster 2.6 percent pace

Economy expands at faster 2.6 percent pace
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The U.S. economy expanded during the spring as consumers and businesses picked up their spending.

In the April–June quarter, gross domestic product grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate, up from a revised 1.2 percent pace during the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Charles Seville, senior director with Fitch Ratings, said, “One encouraging sign in this report is that the recovery in investment continues, while consumption is still growing steadily."

Consumer spending, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of the economy, grew at a 2.8 percent pace, up from a 1.9 percent January–March period.

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Business investment increased at a 5.2 percent rate, down from 7.2 percent in the first quarter but still one of the highest levels in three years.

Housing construction fell 6.8 percent following an 11.1 percent jump in the first quarter as warm weather boosted construction.

President Trump has pledged to boost growth to above a 3 percent rate, but many analysts expect the expansion to hover around 2 percent. 

Exports grew faster than imports during the quarter, adding about 0.2 percentage points to growth.

Federal government spending grew at a 0.7 percent rate boosted by a surge in defense spending. State and local governments pulled back spending.  

The second estimate of growth is slated for release on Aug. 30.