WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy grew a little faster than initially thought in the second quarter, pushing gross domestic product beyond its pre-pandemic peak, as spending was boosted by massive fiscal stimulus and COVID-19 vaccinations.
On Thursday, the US Commerce Department said in its second estimate of gross domestic product growth in the April-June quarter that gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 6.6 percent. This growth rate was revised from the 6.5 percent announced in July. Economists polled by Reuters had expected an increase in the rate of gross domestic product growth in the second quarter to 6.7 percent.
The economy grew at a rate of 6.3 percent in the first quarter and made up for the sharp losses it incurred during a two-month recession due to COVID-19. The upward adjustment to GDP growth in the most recent quarter reflects a much stronger rate of consumer spending than initially estimated.
A separate report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed that the number of government jobless claims filed for the first time rose by four thousand to a seasonally adjusted level of 353,000 in the week ending August 21.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 350,000 orders in the latest week.
Companies are holding on to their workers as labor shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic partly contribute to hiring 5.7 million jobs remaining below their peak in February 2020.
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