The US economy was stronger last quarter than we first thought

The US economy grew by 1.4% in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department’s third estimate of gross domestic product (GDP).

Economists had forecast that the value of all the goods and services America produced last quarter increased by 1.3%, according to Bloomberg.

The final estimate, pending future annual revisions, reflected a now familiar picture of sluggish growth held up mostly by strong consumer spending.

Recent data on consumers, including a measure of confidence that rose to a post-recession high in September, should still bode well, said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank.

“I don’t think there are any signs that the consumer will get derailed in the near or medium term,” he said.

GDP was revised up from a second estimate of 1.1% after more robust data showed business spending on equipment and plants was stronger than previously thought.

Personal consumption was revised downward by a hair to 4.3% from 4.4%, which was the most since Q4 2014.

Core personal-consumption expenditures — a measure of inflation that excludes volatile food and energy prices — rose by 1.8%, unchanged from the second estimate.

The release also showed that corporate profits fell by $12.5 billion in the second quarter, down from an increase of $66 billion in the first. America’s largest public companies reported a fourth-straight quarterly drop in profits in Q2.

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