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Growth Revised to 4.6%, Brightening the Outlook

Growth Revised to 4.6%, Brightening the Outlook

WASHINGTON — The bounce-back in the United States’ economy last quarter from a dismal winter was even faster than previously thought, a sign that growth will most likely remain solid for the rest of the year.

The economy as measured by gross domestic product grew at a 4.6 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, the Commerce Department said on Friday. It was the fastest pace in more than two years and was higher than the government’s previous estimate of 4.2 percent.

The upward revision reflected stronger-than-expected business investment and exports last quarter. The healthy second-quarter growth was a sharp rebound from the January-March quarter, when the economy shrank at a 2.1-percent rate during a brutal winter that idled factories and kept consumers at home.

As the third quarter nears an end on Sept. 30, economists envision a strengthening economy through the end of 2014 and into 2015. Many think the economy is growing in the current July-September quarter at a rate of around 3 percent.

Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, is more optimistic than most. He said a brighter outlook for business investment spending and other good economic reports had led him to revise his G.D.P. forecast to 3.2 percent growth for the July-September period, up from 2.8 percent earlier.

“The American economy is firing on virtually all cylinders and cruising at a decidedly stronger rate than in recent years,” Mr. Guatieri said. Friday’s report on G.D.P. — the economy’s total output of goods and services — was the government’s third and final estimate for the second quarter.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity, grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate, up from 1.2 percent growth in the first quarter.

Analysts have sketched a much brighter outlook for 2015. Economists at JPMorgan Chase predict growth of 3 percent next year.

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