The U.S. economy grew by 3.1% to start the year, slightly better than expected and providing some relief at a time when recession fears are accelerating.
In the bigger picture, growth easily surpassed what most economists had been expecting at the start of the year. At one point, the Atlanta Federal Reserve was estimating GDP to rise just 0.2%. Strong contributions from real gross domestic income helped drive the better numbers, as did a rise in exports, state and local government spending as well as nonresidential fixed investment.
The new numbers, which represent the second reading, also reflect upward revisions to exports and personal consumption expenditures. Exports rose 4.8% amid the increasingly bitter trade war between the U.S. and China, while imports declined 2.5%.