The US economy accelerated more quickly than expected in the second quarter thanks to a surge in exports, bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve to wind down a major economic stimulus programme.
Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a 2.5 per cent annual rate, according to revised estimates for the period that were released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The quarterís growth rate was more than double the pace clocked in the prior three months.
The report could boost confidence that the economy is turning a corner despite government austerity measures. At the same time, a full recovery from the 2007-09 recession is probably years away as the US jobless rate remains historically high at 7.4 per cent.
The government had initially estimated that GDP expanded at a 1.7 per cent rate in the second quarter. But recent data on trade showed that exports climbed during the period at their fastest pace in over two years.
The Fedís programme has reduced borrowing costs and helped spark a recovery in the nationís housing market, which collapsed during the 2007-09 recession. In Q2, investments in housing accounted for nearly a fifth of the economyís growth. However, other reports have suggested that housing began to look more shaky toward the end of the quarter.