U.S. economic output accelerated to a 2.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, slightly short of the expectations of government officials and investors hoping for a strong rebound from the economic contraction during the winter.

The inflation-adjusted gross domestic product number reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis Thursday morning was below the 2.9 percent seasonally-adjusted annualized growth rate expected by Wall Street.

It was a significant improvement, however, from the first quarter, which saw revised growth of 0.6 percent. Before the revisions included in Thursday's release, the Bureau had estimated that the economy shrunk at a 0.2 percent rate in the first quarter.

While the erasure of the first quarter contraction was good news, the overall record of the past three years of the recovery took a significant hit Thursday, as revisions for the past three years marked down growth.

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