It does not feel like a 4% economy: CEO

Aetna CEO says economy doesn't feel that strong

From the standpoint of Aetna, the U.S. economy does not feel like it's growing as quickly as the government reported on Wednesday, Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said.

The Commerce Department said its first read on second-quarter GDP showed a better-than-expected 4 percent increase—following a revised 2.1 contraction in the first quarter, which was not as slow as previously thought.

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"We actually saw weather impact on health-care utilization in the first quarter ... because people could not get to the doctor's [office]," Bertolini said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "We have seen some increase in utilization [since then] ... and that would fit with an improving economy."

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In addition to "a really tough winter," health-care spending was depressed by a "mild" flu season, economist Ethan Harris told "Squawk on the Street."

At the same time, expectations were high that the influx of people signing up for new health insurance through the Affordable Care Act would give an immediate boost to health-care spending, Harris noted.

"People misunderstood the health-care act [and] thought the spending would be immediate, but it's really a second-half story," said Harris, co-head of global economics research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "Health care, I think, will be a small tailwind for the economy in the second half."

Still, Bertolini refused to believe that the economy has recovered as much as the GDP report showed.

Marriott CEO: US economy growing

In contrast, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson told CNBC that economies in the United States and around the world are doing better than they have in years.

He appeared on "Squawk Box" ahead of the government's GDP report.

Looking through the prism of Marriott's global businesses, Sorenson said: "Group business, individual business travelers and leisure business [are] all strong. I think it's a sign that the economy is, in fact, growing—probably growing better than it has been in the last few years, but building on strong years we've had coming out of the recession."

Marriott International said Wednesday it has more guests staying in its rooms and they're paying more per night than guests did last year. That trend helped the hotel company increase second-quarter earnings, . While revenue for the quarter was higher, it fell short of expectations. Marriott also brought up numbers for the full year.

Meanwhile, Aetna reported Tuesday better-than-expected earnings and revenue in the second quarter and raised full-year guidance. But the third-largest U.S. health insurer said its more than estimates in the second quarter, due in part to Obamacare.

—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. CNBC's Drew Sandholm contributed to this report.