|08-28-2014, 03:52 PM||#1|
U.S. GDP growth revised higher on stronger exports and business investment, company earnings jump
The U.S. economy expanded at a higher pace than previously forecast in the second quarter, lifted by a rise in business investment that was the biggest in over two years.
Gross domestic product, which measures the value of all goods and services produced in the economy, increased by 4.2% annualized rate, up from the initial estimate of 4.0%, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.
Bloomberg analysts expected growth pace of 3.9%, but business investment and net exports were stronger than forecast. Note that the economy shrank at a 2.1% pace from January through March.
The Commerce department also reported corporate profits jumped the most in around four years.
The revisions to GDP showed the pickup in growth last quarter came from bigger gains in corporate spending on structures and equipment and a smaller trade deficit that was partly offset by more tepid inventory building.
Business investment increased at an 8.1% annualized rate, the most since the first three months of 2012. Companies are buying more equipment as earnings improve.
The data also showed the first glimpse at corporate profits. Before-tax earnings increased 8% in the second quarter, the most since the third quarter of 2010, following a 9.4% fall in the first quarter. However, profits were still down 0.3% from the same period last year.
Household consumption grew at a 2.5% annualized rate, the same as previously forecast. Analysts called for a slowdown to 2.4%.
Trade was also less of a hold-back on the economy. The rise in exports was revised up to 10.1% from 9.5% and the increase in imports was trimmed to 11% from 11.7%.
Income and Wages
Today’s report also included revisions to first-quarter personal income. Wages and salaries rose by $131.3 billion, revised down from an initially reported $135.1 billion gain. They climbed by $103.6 billion in the second quarter.
Gross domestic income, which reflects all the money earned by consumers, businesses and government agencies climbed at a 4.7% annualized rate in the second quarter, the most since early 2012.
Another report today showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits were little changed last week as employers held on to staff in an improving economy.
Initial jobless claims decreased by 1,000 to 298,000 in the week ended August 23 from 299,000 in the prior period, the Labor Department reported.
Faster hiring pace and stock-market gains that are boosting confidence also are healing household income, which will help consumer spending. Payrolls in July marked the sixth month of gains exceeding 200,000, the longest such stretch since 1997, according to the Labor Department.
The GDP estimate is the second of three for the quarter, with the third release scheduled for late September when more information becomes available.
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