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US Economy Grew at Fastest Pace Since 2011 in Q2

Gross domestic product surged at annual rate of 4.6%, which reflected larger increases in business investment notably in manufacturing structures and exports.

WASHINGTON -- The economy grew more strongly than previously estimated in the second quarter, clocking the fastest pace since late 2011, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

Gross domestic product surged at annual rate of 4.6%, the department said, revising the previous 4.2% estimate.

The revision matched economists' expectations as data shows the economy built momentum in a rebound from the first quarter's 2.1% 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%, he said. "That's a decidedly firmer growth track than the 2.1% norm in the first four years of the recovery from the Great Recession."

Consumption spending, the main driver of U.S .economic activity, rose a moderate 2.5%, after only a 1.2% 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% 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% and 2.2%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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