June 24 (UPI) -- The Commerce Department said in an updated assessment on Thursday that the overall U.S. economy grew by more than 6% between January and April -- the second-best quarterly mark of the COVID-19 era, and unchanged from the first two estimates.
The department said gross domestic product, the overall output of goods and services, climbed by 6.4% in the first quarter. That's exactly the same figure pegged by its first two reports in April and May.
With more businesses reopening from coronavirus-related restrictions and an uptick in vaccinations nationally in the first three months of 2021, the department said consumers were encouraged to spend more.
"The 'third' estimate of GDP released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the 'second' estimate issued last month," the department said in its report.
"The increase ... reflected increases in personal consumption expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by decreases in private inventory investment and exports."
The first-quarter growth was the second-largest since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic early last year. Only the third quarter of 2020 performed better, when the economy saw a record surge of 33%. The first-quarter growth added modestly to a 4.3% growth from the final three months of 2020.
The department said Thursday that the top categories for purchases between January and April were durable goods, retail and accommodation and food services.
The department's first report for the second quarter, which covers April through June, is due July 29.