The U.S. economy grew at a quick 5.3 percent pace in the first quarter of the year, more quickly than the past 2 1/2 years.

The result, released Thursday by the Commerce Department, is a reading of the overall value of the nation's goods and services, based on data from January to March.

A preliminary estimate released in April, saw the Real Gross Domestic Product growth for the opening quarter at 4.8 percent.

The biggest gains were in nondurable goods, and exports.

The 5.3 percent growth for the GDP figure represents an abrupt shift from the last quarterly report, which said the GDP grew only 1.7 percent from October to December.