Stacks of dollars
Stacks of dollars

The U.S. economy grew even faster than first thought in April, May and June.

Friday's report from the Commerce Department says the gross domestic product expanded at a 3.9 percent annual rate, which is 0.2 percent faster than an earlier estimate.  It is also far faster than the anemic 0.6 percent expansion in the first three months of this year.

The GDP measures all the goods and services produced in a country and is the broadest measure of economic health.  Analysts said the second quarter's burst of growth was helped by stronger consumer spending and construction.  Some experts speculate that current economic growth has slowed a bit.

The growth rate is an important piece of the data that leaders of the U.S. central bank is considering as they decide when and how fast to raise the key interest rate.  That rate was cut to near zero during the financial crisis in a bid to boost economic growth, but officials say the recovering economy will no longer need such stimulus.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Thursday that her colleagues are likely to raise interest rates sometime this year.  The comments follow the Fed's recent decision to delay the long-anticipated rate hike.