Published: Thu, August 31, 2017
Money | By Charlene Sutton

U.S. quarterly economic growth revised higher

U.S. quarterly economic growth revised higher

Paul Ashworth, chief USA economist at Capital Economics, said he believed that the strength in consumer spending should result in an "even stronger hand-off" for growth going into the current quarter.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected a smaller upward revision in second-quarter GDP to a 2.8% rate.

This is the fastest quarterly growth rate in more than two years. The economy grew 2.2 percent in the second quarter from one year earlier.

The saving rate also slipped to 3.7% from 3.9% in the first quarter. In the first quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 3.3 percent, or $152.2 billion.

"The ADP overshoot in August compared to our payroll model suggests we should move our forecast for Friday up to about 220K from 200K", said Ian Shepherdson, Chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

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"The revised GDP growth rate likely comes as a sigh of relief for folks looking for further confirmation that the US economy is moving along swiftly", says Mike Loewengart, investment strategist at Etrade. In addition, there were marginal improvements seen for private inventory spending and net exports, but the drag from state and local government spending was bigger than previously thought. Economists saw a limited impact on growth from Hurricane Harvey, which devastated parts of Texas.

It is not unusual for the USA economy to see a "spring bounce", where growth picks up sharply after the winter months as people head to the store or take expensive vacations.

Nonetheless, the faster expansion rate in the second quarter could relieve the pressure on the Federal Reserve, which has been divided over the course of monetary policy in recent months.

The Trump administration has pledged to return the world's largest economy to sustained annual growth of three percent or more by slashing taxes and regulations while boosting trade.

Real gross domestic income (GDI) growth for the second quarter came in at 2.9%.

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We expect the strength of consumer and business spending to continue into the third quarter.

The growth is the strongest since the first quarter of 2015, when it hit 3.2 percent, but not as high as the 5.2 percent spurt in the third quarter of 2014.

Most of the upward revision was due to stronger consumption spending, which expanded 3.3 percent from the initial estimate of 2.8 percent. Still, the weak inflation figures remain a constraint at this point.

Residential investment fell by 6.5 percent, pulling back from really strong gains in both of the prior releases.

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