The U.S. Economy grew at a 2.8% annual rate in the second Quarter as higher oil prices dampened consumer demand and as imports of record amounts of foreign goods created a record trade deficit.  Corporate profits after taxes, reported for the first time today, rose 17.9% in the 12 months ended in June.  Business investment in equipment and software was revised up to the strongest pace since the third quarter last year.  Consumer spending was revised upward in this report from last month’s preliminary number of 1% to 1.6%.  

One of the major economic trends we have discussed in earlier Briefs has been that of outsourcing.  I’m not referring to the politically-charged concept of ‘moving jobs overseas,’ but to the process whereby a business transfers to more efficient providers those functions over which it does not have particular expertise or are not mission critical.    

This week produced a huge number of economic reports, in part because some were delayed from last week’s day of national mourning.  For the most part, the reports showed substantial gains in both the momentum and the breadth of this economic expansion.  Not only is it real, it appears to have significant staying power.  Here are some of the highlights:

Yesterday, the Commerce Department revised upward its estimate of how fast the economy grew in the first quarter of this year by two tenths of a percent.  The report also showed that corporate profits jumped 31.6% in the quarter ended March, the biggest increase since the first quarter of 1984.