While a difference of a single percentage point may not sound like much, in a $19 trillion economy, the stakes are huge. The acceleration could also help lift wage growth, which has been frustratingly slow for years despite steady hiring, a surging stock market and rising home prices.
The new second-quarter estimate “points to solid momentum in domestic demand,” Barclays said in a note to clients immediately after the figure was released. “Altogether, the data show more momentum in the domestic economy.”
Private-sector estimates of third-quarter growth have also inched higher lately. Macroeconomic Advisers now forecasts a 3.4 percent expansion rate for the current quarter, up from the 2.9 percent figure it forecast earlier this month.
Increases in consumer spending and business investment powered nearly all of the revision issued on Wednesday. Factors like net exports and residential investment barely changed, while government spending added only 0.1 percentage point.
The Commerce Department offers three estimates of growth as more data becomes available, with the third and final figure for second-quarter economic activity to be released on Sept. 28.