The economy grew more than previously estimated in the second quarter on bigger gains in consumer and business spending that show the U.S. expansion got back on track. A surge in inventories also signals such strong growth will be difficult to sustain in the short run.
Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a 3.7 percent annualized rate, exceeding all estimates of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and up from the 2.3 percent the Commerce Department reported last month, figures showed Thursday in Washington.
American households, bolstered by gains in employment, rising home prices and cheaper fuel costs, will probably continue to spur the economy in the second half of the year. At the same time, a record surge in stockpiles represents another headwind for manufacturers already contending with a rising dollar and slumping emerging markets that have hurt exports.
“The economy was on firm footing coming into the second half,” Millan Mulraine, deputy head of research and strategy at TD Securities USA LLC in New York, said before the report. “The outlook going forward has more to do with global markets.”
The report comes as Federal Reserve policy makers debate whether growth is strong enough to withstand the first increase in the benchmark interest rate since 2006. While the job market has made strides since the recession ended, inflation remains well short of the central bank’s goal. Additionally, the global plunge in stocks also could argue for a delay.