The U.S. economy sped up in the second quarter, expanding at 4.1 percent, the first time in four years it’s broken the 4 percent mark.
Strong consumer and government spending fueled the increase, as did a short-term jump in trade ahead of tariffs announced by the White House and U.S. trading partners. First-quarter growth was also revised to 2.2 percent, a slight increase from the previous estimate.
Economists were broadly expecting a strong growth figure, with some analysts saying the figure could reach as high as 5 percent.
Quarterly growth of 4 percent or more is not uncommon. The economy reached that level in 2011, 2013 and twice in 2014:
* 2011, fourth quarter: 4.6%
* 2013, fourth quarter: 4.0%
* 2014, second quarter: 4.6%
* 2014, third quarter: 5.2%
The larger challenge will be sustaining that growth. During the Obama years, annual economic growth couldn’t break out of the 1-to-2-percent range. In the first full year of the Trump administration, the economy grew at 2.3 percent.
Despite the strong second quarter, the forecast for 2018 remains at 2.8 percent, according to the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting body.
— The Associated Press contributed reporting