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The U.S. economy grew even faster than first estimated in the second quarter of the year

The U.S. economy grew by a robust 4.2 percent in the second quarter of the year, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That uptick was markedly larger than the feds' initial estimate of 4.0 percent growth for April through June.

The healthy increase is a welcome sign as it comes after a long, snowy winter caused economic output to stagnate and even shrink. In the first quarter, the economy contracted by 2.1 percent, the worst mark in five years.