US economy likely showed big rebound last quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — Analysts are upbeat about what the government is expected to announce Wednesday.

The Commerce Department will provide its first estimate of how much the gross domestic product — the economy's total output of goods and services — grew in the April-June quarter.

According to a survey of economists by the data firm FactSet, the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.9 percent. That would be a warming trend compared to the January-March period when unusually severe weather was blamed for 2.9 percent contraction, the biggest since the depths of the recession five years ago.

Some forecasters are encouraged about the remainder of the year and predict a period of acceleration. They cite hiring gains, surging consumer confidence, a cutback in business stockpiling and a rebound in business capital spending on new equipment.

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