The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter, up from the 1.1 percent rate registered in the January-March period, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

The majority of analysts were expecting the gross domestic product to expand at a 1.1 percent rate in the April-June period.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity in the United States, rose 1.8 percent in the second quarter, while business investment grew 9 percent, led by a 2 percent rise in home construction.

The government introduced a new methodology for calculating GDP and revised the figures for prior years.

The economy grew 2.8 percent in 2012 and not the 2.2 percent reported earlier, the Commerce Department said.

The average annual growth rate for the world's largest economy between 1929 and 2012 is now 3.3 percent instead of the 3.2 percent number previously on the books. EFE