Economic Report: U.S. economy accelerates to 4.1% rate in second quarter, fastest in almost 4 years

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U.S. exports of soybeans helped boost growth in the second quarter.

The numbers: Consumers and government spending powered the economy to a 4.1% rate of gross domestic product growth in the second quarter, the fastest pace in almost four years.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 4.2% increase in GDP, the official scorecard for the U.S. economy.

Growth was revised up in the first quarter to 2.2% from 2%.

What happened: Consumer spending accelerated to a 4% annual pace of growth after a sharp pullback in the first quarter. Government spending also accelerated at both the federal and state levels.

Business fixed investment increased 5.4% in the second quarter, down from a 8% gain in the first three months of the year.

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