The U.S. economy—as indicated by GDP—grew at an annual rate of 2.6% in the second quarter of 2017, which is faster than the 1.2% revised rate reported for the first quarter of 2017, according to BVR's Economic Outlook Update (2Q17 issue). The growth from the current quarter is due to an increase in consumer spending, which comprises about 70% of the economy. Imports, however, which are subtracted in the calculation of GDP, increased. The quarter ended with the economy in the third longest economic expansion in U.S. history.
- The Leading Economic Index climbed 0.6%, reaching a record high at 127.8 points;
- All major stock indexes posted gains;
- Consumer spending grew at a rate of 2.8%; and
- The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point, to 1.25%.
The 2Q 2017 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, which was reported in May, trended downward, losing 5.0 points, to 95.0. The decline is not statistically significant, with small business still up greatly from its index score of 64.0 from the same period in 2016.
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