Gross domestic product grew at 0.8 percent in the first quarter, the Commerce Department announced Friday, a positive revision from an initial estimate of 0.5 percent in April.
The updated figure, which just undershot Wall Street estimates of a 0.9 percent revision, lifted on inventory data that came in stronger than previously supposed.
The economy slowed in the first three months of the year in the face of financial market turmoil stemming from fears over China and other emerging-market economies. A strong dollar and plunging oil price hurt U.S. exporters and energy producers. Global trade weakened, credit tightened, and commodity markets dropped precipitously before rebounding in mid-February.
The question, however, is how much these waves of market angst trickled down into the domestic economy. The revised figures show a more modest impact than initially thought. Exports dropped from the previous quarter and businesses cut back on inventory investments, but these headwinds ended up being less of a drag than in the first GDP estimate.
Gross domestic income, meanwhile, rose 2.2 percent for the quarter, matching analysts’ estimates and reflecting higher personal incomes in a tightening labor market. Corporate profits rose slightly on a quarterly basis after falling in the fourth quarter while profit margins stabilized as a percentage of GDP.
The Commerce Department is scheduled to release its third and final revision of first-quarter GDP June 28.