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US Economic Growth Accelerates, Hits 2.6 Percent

  • Jim Randle

Shoppers are pictured at Aldi, a retail grocery store chain in Wheaton, Illinois, U.S., April 13, 2017.

U.S. economic growth accelerated in April, May, and June, expanding at a 2.6 percent annual rate, says a new report by the Commerce Department.

The gross domestic product data, published Friday, says consumer and business spending helped boost growth. IHS Markit economist Sara Johnson says U.S. growth was also helped by an accelerating global economy that improved American trade.

The GDP counts up all the goods and services produced in the nation, and is considered the broadest assessment of economic health. This report is based on preliminary data, and could be revised as more complete information becomes available. Such an adjustment was made in the GDP growth for January, February, and March, which showed growth back then was even slower than first thought.

U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to boost economic growth to 3 percent or higher by cutting regulations, taxes, and a major health care program while boosting spending on infrastructure. While he has cut some regulations, much of the rest of the Republican president's economic agenda is stalled in Congress, even though both houses are controlled by his fellow Republicans.

A separate study by the University of Michigan says consumer sentiment declined in July, but remains at a "favorable" level. Economists track consumer attitudes closely because consumer demand drives most U.S. economic activity.

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