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U.S. economy grows 4 pct in Q2

English.news.cn   2014-07-30 21:14:46

WASHINGTON, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4.0 percent in the second quarter after unexpectedly shrinking in the first three months this year, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Wednesday.

The figure was better than economists' expectation of 3 percent and confirmed the view that the world's largest economy would strongly bounce back after the severe winter weather ended.

The strong growth in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption, private inventory investment, non-residential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment, the Commerce Department said.

Personal consumption, which accounts for about 70 percent of overall economic activity, grew at a pace of 2.5 percent in the second quarter from 1.2 percent in the previous quarter, adding 1.69 percentage points to the overall economic growth.

The change in private inventories also added 1.66 percentage points to growth during the second quarter, after subtracting 1.16 percentage points from growth in the proceeding period.

Trade deficit sliced off 0.61 percentage point of the second-quarter growth, but smaller than the severe contraction of 1.66 percentage points in the first quarter.

Non-residential fixed investment increased 5.5 percent during the April-June period after gaining 1.6 percent in the previous quarter, with spending on structures up 5.3 percent and investment on equipment up 3.1 percent.

Residential fixed investment increased 7.5 percent in the second quarter, compared with 5.3 percent decline in the first quarter, indicating the housing recovery gradually gained momentum.

While federal government spending fell 0.8 percent and became a drag on economic growth during the quarter, state and local government spending increased 3.1 percent, adding 0.35 percentage point to the overall economic growth.

The department also revised the estimate of the first quarter contraction to 2.1 percent, compared to the more severe 2.9 percent previously reported. But it was still the worst performance in five years.

The Federal Reserve began a two-day monetary policy meeting Tuesday and was widely expected to continue tapering its asset purchase program by another 10 billion U.S. dollars. The Fed is currently buying 35 billion U.S. dollars of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities a month.

The central bank is on track to end the asset purchase program in October if the U.S. economy progresses as expected, according to the minutes of the Fed's last monetary policy meeting.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last month that it would require a "very significant change" in the economic outlook in the next few months to alter this strategy.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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