By Jonathan Davies

The US economy grew by 2.3% in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, according to official figures.

It compares with growth of just 0.6% in the first quarter.

The US Commerce Department said growth was largely driven by lower fuel prices and rising consumer spending. Consumer spending was up 2.9%, compared with growth of 1.8% in the first quarter.

The much improved economic growth could be the icing on the cake in the Federal Reserves decision to raise interest rates sooner rather than later.

Following its latest decision to keep interest rates on hold, the Fed indicated that a rate rise would more than likely come this year.

"Updated GDP numbers deliver a double-punch to US economy doom-mongers, painting a reassuringly bright picture of the health of the US economy so far this year and raising the odds of the Fed hiking interest rates in September," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at research firm Markit.