The US economy grew at an upgraded annual rate of 3.1% in the spring, the fastest pace in more than two years. But growth is expected to slow sharply this quarter in the wake of a string of devastating hurricanes, per the AP. The April-June expansion in the gross domestic product—the economy's total output of goods and services—is up slightly from a 3% estimate made a month ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It is the strongest performance since the economy grew at a 3.2% pace in the first quarter of 2015. The upward revision reflected larger farm stockpiles.
The year started with a lackluster 1.2% gain in the first quarter. Economists believe growth has slowed again to around 2% in the current quarter. The revised figure was the government's third and final look at GDP for the April-June period, and left GDP rising at an average 2% pace over the first six months of the year. That matches the lackluster average annual growth rates seen since the recovery from the Great Recession began in mid-2009. Economists at Macroeconomic Advisers believe that growth in the current quarter could tumble by as much as 1.2 percentage points due to hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. But analysts think the initial losses to GDP will be made up in subsequent quarters as rebuilding gets underway. (Read more economy stories.)