Photograph by Andrew Burton—Getty Images
By John Kell
September 26, 2014

The U.S. economy’s second-quarter growth was better than the government initially reported, as the key gross domestic product reading was upwardly revised for the second time.

Real gross domestic product jumped 4.6% in the second quarter according to the Commerce Department’s third estimate, the fastest pace of growth since the fourth quarter of 2011. That estimate is based on more data than what was used when the government released its first two readings, initially showing growth of 4% but later being revised to an increase of 4.2%. GDP is the output of goods and services produced by U.S. labor and property.

Interestingly, the size of the revision (0.6 percentage points) between the advance estimate to the third estimate exactly matches the Commerce Department’s historical average. The initial “advance” reading is based on incomplete data, and thus is often revised in later reports.

With 4.6% growth in the second quarter, which matches what economists expected for Friday’s report, the data indicate the economy bounced back sharply in the months following a harsh winter that temporarily dented the economic recovery. The Commerce Department on Friday said the “general picture of economic growth remains the same.”

The Federal Reserve, meanwhile, earlier this month said household spending is rising and business fixed investment is advancing, though other aspects of the economy, including the housing sector’s recovery and labor market indicators, remained challenged.

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