Economic growth is expected to be double the first quarter's pace when second-quarter GDP data is released Friday morning.
Economists Thursday raised their growth forecasts, after better-than-expected details in June durable goods, inventories and trade data. The CNBC/Moody's Analytics Rapid Update showed a median forecast of 2.9 percent for second-quarter growth, up 0.3 percentage point on the one day's data, and now more than double the first quarter's 1.4 percent growth rate.
But the forecast is still below the 3.8 percent initially expected by economists in the survey, which showed early optimism that three years of sluggish growth in the 2 percent area could be coming to an end. Some still hold out hope, with JPMorgan economists forecasting a 3.5 percent quarter, while Goldman Sachs economists see just 2.2 percent growth.
"You take a look at the environment and it's a slow-growth environment, but it's stable, and I think that's what some investors are really overlooking," said Charlie Ripley, investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management. Ripley expects 2.5 percent growth for the second quarter and a pace of 2.5 to 2.75 percent for the full year.
"Going into this year, there were some high expectations around fiscal stimulus, but our view since the beginning of the year is that some of this stuff is going to take a lot longer to play out, and we've seen that through most of this year. Congress isn't able to get much done in their current state, and it could be some time before we see meaningful fiscal reform or even tax cuts," Ripley said.