September 27, 2018 / 12:34 PM / 22 days ago

U.S. second-quarter GDP growth unrevised at 4.2 percent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth accelerated in the second quarter at its fastest pace in nearly four years as previously estimated, putting the economy on track to hit the Trump administration’s goal of 3 percent annual growth.

FILE PHOTO: Empty shipping containers are stacked for storage at Wando Welch Terminal operated by the South Carolina Ports Authority in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, U.S. May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo

Gross domestic product increased at a 4.2 percent annualized rate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday in its third estimate of GDP growth for the April-June quarter. That was the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2014 and unchanged from the estimate published in August.

The economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the January-March period. Upward revisions to spending on residential structures and on nondurable goods like gasoline was offset by a downgrade to inventory investment.

The economy expanded 3.2 percent in the first half of 2018. Growth in the second quarter was driven by the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package, which boosted consumer spending after it almost stalled early in the year.

There was a front-loading to soybean exports to China to beat retaliatory trade tariffs, which also powered growth. Economists had expected second-quarter GDP growth would be unrevised at a 4.2 percent pace.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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