US economy grows more than expected in Q2

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US economy grows more than expected in Q2

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More signs have emerged that the economic recovery in the United States is gaining momentum.

Growth unexpectedly accelerated between April and June. Compared with the same period last year gross domestic product has risen by 1.7 percent. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the economy
growing at a 1.0 percent pace.

The January to March 2012 period was, however, revised down to 1.1 percent, from the previous estimate of 1.8 percent.

The spring saw consumer spending remain strong despite higher taxes and companies increase their investments in inventory. There was also a rebound in business spending and export growth.

Changes in the way the US government calculates GDP meant growth in 2012 was stronger than previously announced, up 2.8 percent from the previous year rather than 2.2 percent. Those changes include, research and development spending now being treated as investment.

The latest figures were likely to help shape thinking at the Federal Reserve where Chairman Ben Bernanke and other officials have been holding their regular policy meeting.

The US central bank has said it will look at winding down its stimulus programme later this year if the economy expands and the unemployment rate falls.

As the GDP data was released, a separate report showed private employers in the US maintained a higher pace of hiring in July, adding to the brightening economic picture.