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Economy looking strong

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Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2005 6:37 am | Updated: 8:49 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

WASHINGTON - More help wanted signs could be cropping up soon. Respectable economic growth could spur employers to pick up hiring in the coming months, some analysts say.

Gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the April-to-June quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

‘‘The economy expanded at a very nice, comfortable pace this spring,’’ said Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors.

The second-quarter showing followed a 3.8 percent growth rate in the first three months of 2005 and marked the ninth straight quarter that the economy has logged growth topping 3 percent — a performance that economists view as especially encouraging.

Despite high energy prices, consumers and businesses boosted spending in the second quarter, helping to support overall economic growth.

The broadest barometer of the country’s economic health, GDP measures the value of all goods and services produced in the United States.

In the second quarter, GDP climbed to $11.1 trillion on an annualized basis, adjusted for inflation.

The main reason economic growth moderated in the second quarter compared with the first was that businesses were working off excess supplies of goods.

That shaved 2.32 percentage points from GDP inventories.

That paring of inventories set the stage for replenishing them in the July-to-September quarter, which would add to economic growth, economists said. ‘‘That leaves the economy well positioned for another strong quarter,’’ said Sherry Cooper, chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns.

Some analysts believe the current quarter’s GDP could easily exceed a 4 percent growth rate.

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