The economic expansion in the second quarter picked up where it left off late last year, led by gains in consumer spending and business investment that indicate the U.S. slump at the start of 2014 was an anomaly.
Gross domestic product rose at a 4 percent annualized rate from April through June, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, after shrinking 2.1 percent in the first quarter, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The increase matched the average growth rate from July through December of 2013 that marked the strongest six months in a decade.
“The economy is looking pretty darned good,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh, the only economist in the Bloomberg survey to accurately forecast the gain in GDP. “The momentum for the second half is solid. The labor market is driving this growth, which means companies are looking for workers. The big picture looks a lot brighter and is probably more accurate” than the first-quarter reading suggested.