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U.S. Economy Expands at Fastest Rate in Two Years

A government report indicated that consumer spending increases and rejuvenated business investment helped the U.S. economy exand in the first quarter of this year.

The U.S. economy expanded in the first quarter at an annual pace of 4.8 percent, Bloomberg reported. According to the report, the expanision is the fastest in more than two years and was led by resurgent consumer spending and a rebound in business investment.

A government report said that the rise in consumer spending and increased investment gave the economy momentum going into the second quarter.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the rise in gross domestic product followed a 1.7 percent annual rate of increase in the previous three months. It also said consumer spending on durable goods rose the most since 2001.

Part of the increase can be attributed to improving labor markets and unseasonably warm weather. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told Bloomberg that the growth may moderate as the year progresses and allow the Fed to pause in its series of interest rate increases.

Labor costs rose 0.6 percent in the first quarter, compared with a gain of 0.8 percent in the previous three months, the Labor Department reported.