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USA achieves 3-year best quarterly growth of 4.6%

The revision matched economists’ expectations as data shows the economy built momentum in a rebound from the first quarter’s 2.1 per cent contraction, when severe winter weather battered the economy.

The department said the upward revision mainly reflected larger increases in business investment than previously estimated, notably in manufacturing structures, and exports. ‘The American economy is firing on virtually all cylinders and cruising at a decidedly stronger rate than in recent years,’ said Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

The growth update raised the year-over-year rate to 2.6 percent, he said. ‘That’s a decidedly firmer growth track than the 2.1 per cent norm in the first four years of the recovery from the Great Recession.’

Consumption spending, the main driver of US economic activity, rose a moderate 2.5 per cent, after only a 1.2 percent rise in the first quarter. The report signaled the economy entered the third quarter with solid momentum, but recent indicators have shown activity cooling, particularly in the housing market. Analysts forecast growth has slowed to about 3.0 per cent in the July-September period.

According to the latest Federal Reserve projections, the world’s largest economy would end the year at an annual rate between 2.0 per cent and 2.2 per cent.
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