The U.S. economy grew at a rate of 4 percent in the second quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department said Wednesday in it first estimate of gross domestic product for the April-to-June period.
That topped forecasts of 3 percent growth for the quarter and marks a strong rebound from the first three months of the year, which saw the economy shrink by a revised 2.1 percent. The federal government initially estimated that first-quarter growth fell 2.9 percent, a decline that economists largely blamed on harsh winter weather.
"Not only did second-quarter GDP rebound by 4 percent annualized, but the decline in the first quarter was trimmed to 2.1 percent, from 2.9 percent, and other revisions show the economy growing at an even faster pace than previously believed in the second half of last year," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics, in a research note.
Renewed economic activity in recent months was led by stronger personal consumption, which rose 2.5 percent. A move by businesses to build their inventories, rising exports, and an increase in state and local government spending also contributed to growth.