The U.S. economy grew slightly faster in the second quarter than initially estimated, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department.
U.S gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.6 percent between April and June, 0.1 percentage points higher than the department’s initial estimate of 6.5 percent. That rate measures how much the U.S. economy would have expanded if the pace of second quarter growth extended for 12 months.
The Commerce Department attributed the slight increase to new data showing greater nonresidential fixed investment and exports. A decline in imports, which subtract from GDP, also boosted the second quarter growth rate.
“The increase in second quarter GDP reflected the continued economic recovery, reopening of establishments, and continued government response related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the department said.
“In the second quarter, government assistance payments in the form of loans to businesses and grants to state and local governments increased, while social benefits to households, such as the direct economic impact payments, declined.”
The reopening of much of the U.S. economy helped the country fill the GDP hole created by the onset of the pandemic, which caused the quickest and steepest economic collapse in the country’s modern history. GDP shrunk by 3.5 percent on net in 2020 after a gain of 2.2 percent the previous year.
“With peak growth now in the rearview mirror, rising health concerns and lingering supply constraints are fostering worries about the path forward for the economy,” wrote Lydia Boussour of Oxford Economics in a Thursday analysis.
“Still, we remain sanguine about the outlook and expect slowly improving health conditions, solid household finances, easing supply constraints, a rebuild of inventories and additional fiscal stimulus will support solid growth into 2022.”