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Economy Surge by 5.8% in First Quarter

June 01, 1997|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The nation's economic growth surged at a 5.8% annual rate during the first three months of this year, the best in a decade and even better than the government's first estimate.

The seasonally adjusted annual growth rate in the gross domestic product--the sum of all goods and services produced in the United States--hasn't been higher since the fourth quarter of 1987.

Friday's report by the Commerce Department marks a slight improvement over last month's 5.6% estimate. U.S. companies sold more exports than originally thought, and businesses built their inventories at a faster rate than first calculated.

Those two changes more than offset a downward revision in consumer spending from a 6.4% rate to a still quite strong 5.7% rate.

Separately, the Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes fell 7.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 772,000 in April. That marked the sharpest decline in six months and was down from an 11-year high of 836,000 in March.

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