U.S. economic growth accelerated to a 3.3% annual pace in the second quarter as exports fueled activity, the government said August 28 in a revised estimate of gross domestic product (GDP). The Commerce Department revised up last month's estimate of a 1.9% of growth in GDP.
The latest figures, helped somewhat by a massive economic stimulus, suggest the world's biggest economy had more momentum than previously thought by analysts, many of whom anticipated recession. Still, few analysts expect this pace to continue since consumer spending is sluggish and a rebound in the dollar may curb growth in exports.
The revised report showed trade alone accounted for 3.10 percentage points in the overall growth rate. It showed exports surged 13.2% (up from an earlier estimate of 9.2%) while exports fell 7.6% instead of 6.6%.
Consumer spending, the largest component of economic activity, was up a modest 1.7%, just 0.2 points more than previously estimated, despite a massive $168 billion government stimulus package that sent out tax rebates to tens of millions of people.
The main drag on growth remained the housing sector, with investment in residential property slumping 15.7%, not as bad as the 25.1% slide in the first quarter.
Business spending grew 2.2% and government expenditures by 6.8%.
A key inflation index linked to GDP rose 4.2% while core prices excluding food and energy were up 2.1%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008