Shipments of key US-made capital goods increased in June for a fifth straight month, suggesting that business spending on equipment helped to boost economic growth in the second quarter. Signs that the economy gathered speed in the last quarter were also bolstered by other data on Thursday showing a sharp narrowing in the goods trade deficit in June and increases in both retail and wholesale inventories.
The bullish reports came on the eve of the government’s advance second-quarter gross domestic product estimate on Friday, prompting economists to raise their forecasts to as high as a 3.5 per cent annualised rate. The economy grew at a 1.4 per cent pace in the first quarter.
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