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WASHINGTON (AFP) – The U.S. economy grew 1.7 percent in the second quarter but the pace was much weaker in the first quarter than thought, according to the Commerce Department report released Wednesday.

The second-quarter gross domestic product growth was well above the 1.1 percent pace estimated on average by analysts but remained sluggish.

The Commerce Department sharply revised the first-quarter GDP figure to 1.1 percent from the prior 1.8 percent reading.

Consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, slowed in the April-June period. Personal consumption expenditures increased only 1.8 percent after a 2.3 percent rise in the first three months of the year.

Exports provided a boost, jumping 5.4 percent and wiping out the prior quarter’s 1.3 percent decline.

The drag caused by federal government spending and investment cuts narrowed, falling 1.5 percent after a more than 8 percent fall in the first quarter.

Photo Credit: AFP/Justin Sullivan

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