The US economy grew 1.8 per cent in the first quarter this year, slower than initially expected but faster than the final quarter of 2012, according to the final figures released Wednesday by the government.
Compared to the 0.4 per cent expansion seen in late 2012, growth has picked up considerably as the world's largest economy struggles to pull out of its stagnation.
The government had overestimated growth at more than 2 per cent in its two preliminary figures for the first quarter of 2013, and was forced to again revise downward on Wednesday by disappointing levels of personal consumption. Consumer demand fuels about 70 per cent of the US economy.
Imports decreased, which normally boosts domestic growth. But exports also fell, partially balancing out the benefit of fewer foreign goods, according to figures released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Cutbacks in government spending at all levels - federal, state and local - has also eroded economic growth, the BEA said.
US unemployment in May stood at 7.6 per cent, a slight increase from 7.5 per cent the month before. Those findings suggested more unemployed people had joined the ranks of those looking for work.
During the slow economic recovery since the 2007-09 recession, many people unable to find jobs quit looking, removing them from the official unemployment rate.
US consumer confidence has risen to its highest level since February 2008, according to figures released Tuesday by the New York-based Conference Board.
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