- REUTERS / Brian Snyder
US economic growth in the first quarter was better than initially estimated, according to the Commerce Department.
The second estimate of gross-domestic-product growth was 0.8%. Economists had forecast an upward revision to 0.9% from 0.5%, according to Bloomberg.
The advance estimate was the weakest pace of growth in two years, and this improved revision was the slowest pace in a year.
The notable change to the data was to business inventories, which now reflect a weaker drag on growth.
Also, wage growth was revised up. Overall earnings rose at a 2.2% annualized rate, the strongest since the fourth quarter of 2014, according to Bloomberg.
Personal consumption rose 2.1%, up from 0.7%, as expected. Goods consumption was revised slightly higher, while services consumption was lowered a hair.
The Commerce Department released the revised numbers armed with more comprehensive data.
The big focus Friday is on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who will speak at Harvard University at 1:15 p.m. ET.
Some members of the Fed’s policy-setting committee have attributed the slow pace of growth in the first quarter to temporary factors, as they look ahead to their June meeting when they will seriously debate raising interest rates for the first time this year.
Before then, other important data on employment, auto sales, and manufacturing will be released.