U.S. economic growth remained weak but still exceeded analysts’ expectations in the second quarter, growing at an annual rate of 1.7 percent, according to initial estimates released by the Commerce Department Wednesday.
The annual rate of first quarter gross domestic product growth was also revised down from a 1.8 percent to a 1.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Second quarter growth, however, easily surpassed forecasts of 1.1 percent.
A smaller-than-expected decrease in federal government spending, and an increase in government spending at the state and local level help boost growth, according the BEA.
The BEA also revised its statistics for past years, raising the level of GDP growth between 1929 and 2012 by a tenth of a percentage point, from 3.2 to 3.3. percent. The revisions also made the economic recovery following the Great Recession seem less weak, raising the average annual growth rate of real GDP by three-tenths of a point to 2.4 percent between 2009 and 2012.
Those revisions reflected the BEA modernization of its records to include more intangible goods and services, such as research and design spending by private companies, the government and nonprofits.