The economy picked up pace in the second quarter, growing at more than double the pace recorded earlier this year thanks to consumers stepping up spending, a rise in business spending and rising exports.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the Commerce Department’s first estimate for the second quarter of 2017. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 1.2 percent, a downward revision from the earlier estimate.
The increase reflected increased consumer spending, exports, and increased spending by both the federal government and businesses. Private housing investment, private inventory and state and local spending decline. Imports, which subtract from GDP, rose.
The pace of economic growth was in line with the expectations of economists.
The second quarter’s number shows the economy growing slightly faster than average. Since 2013, real GDP has grown at an average annual rate of 2.3 percent.=