The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose at 4.2 percent during the second quarter, confirming initial estimates, the Commerce Department announced Thursday.
The report confirms investor optimism and was largely backed by consumer spending and business investment. Economists estimate GDP is on track to grow at roughly 3 percent on the year, the strongest annual growth rate since 2005. The recent numbers continue a ten year growth trend, the longest in the country’s history.
Corporate profits were also on the rise in second quarter, increasing 2.1 percent, down from an 8.1 percent increase in the first quarter, which was spurred by the Republican-led tax reform bill.
Exports were revised up from initial estimates while imports were revised slightly down as the Trump administration’s trade conflict with China drags on. The export increase is likely reflective of a short-term emphasis on quickly offloading soybeans and other products before stringent tariffs take effect, leading some economists to speculate the growth will cool in the third quarter to between 3 and 3.5 percent.
The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate from to 2 to 2.25 percent, prompting criticism from Trump, who is concerned about the possible cooling effects on an economy he frequently claims credit for.
“We’re doing much better than anybody thought possible,” Trump said at a Wednesday news conference.