New York, NY (BBN) – The US economy grew faster than previously estimated in the first quarter of the year, according to official figures.
The Commerce Department said gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual pace of 1.1 per cent in the quarter, up from an earlier estimate of 0.8 per cent, reports BBC.
The upwards revision was helped by stronger export sales.
However, growth in consumer spending was revised down to 1.5 per cent, the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2014.
That weaker number was a reflection of slowing spending in service sectors such as health care and weak consumer spending during a harsh winter in many regions of the US.
This is the third estimate of first-quarter US GDP by the Commerce Department, which said “the general picture of economic growth remains the same”.
The Commerce Department also revised upwards its estimate for the growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 to an annualised pace of 1.4 per cent.
The upward revision is a positive sign for growth in the current quarter, but there are concerns that the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union could send shockwaves through the US economy, slowing growth in the autumn.
Economists currently expect second quarter growth in 2016 to be close to 2.4 per cent.
Nariman Behravesh chief economist at IHS, said: “Consumers will resume their role as the powerhouse of the US economy, with personal consumption expenditures in the second quarter estimated to grow by 3.7 per cent.