US economy growing faster than expected

The US economy grew at a rate of 2.5 per cent between April and June, the Commerce Department said today, revising its estimate for growth in the second quarter on the back of a surge in exports.

Initial figures had pointed to growth of around 1.7 per cent during the period.

But fresh data evidencing a jump in exports over the quarter suggests that the economy performed even better.

The figures will play into the ongoing debate at the US Federal Reserve over reducing the scope of its bond buying programme as the world's largest economy improves.

Given recent signs of a gradual improvement in the health of the US, most economists expect the Fed to announce a reduction in the programme in September.

Policymakers might, however, adopt a more cautious stance if, as is widely expected now, the US and its allies strike Syria. Already, the prospect has rattled stock markets and drive up oil prices.