WASHINGTON, July 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013, the Commerce Department said in an advanced estimate Wednesday.
The estimate is subject to revision as more data become available.
The gross domestic product gained at a sharper rate than economists had expected. The consensus forecast called for a gain of 1.4 percent after a downwardly revised 1.1 percent growth for the first quarter.
First-quarter growth was upgraded to 1.8 percent in June.
Investments in commercial real estate, exports and a slowdown in government spending cuts contributed positively to the upgraded second-quarter estimate.
An upturn in state and local government spending partly offset an increase in imports, which subtracts from the GDP, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis said.
Real personal consumption expenditures rose 1.8 percent in the second quarter after increasing 2.3 percent in the first.
Spending on durable goods rose 6.5 percent after a 5.8 percent increase in the first quarter. Spending on non-durable goods rose 2 percent, a slowdown from a 2.7 percent increase in the first quarter. Spending on services rose 0.9 percent, a drop from a 1.5 percent rise in the first quarter.