By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth accelerated in the second quarter as solid consumer spending offset the drag from weak business spending on equipment, suggesting a steady momentum that could bring the Federal Reserve closer to hiking interest rates this year. "This was a very constructive report and given the supportive domestic economic backdrop, we expect this positive momentum in activity to be sustained in the coming months, providing the Fed with the necessary justification to raise rates this year - perhaps as early as September," said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York. The report also showed a pick-up in inflation during the quarter, which economists say keeps the Fed on track for its first interest rate hike since 2006.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, while first-quarter numbers were revised to show that the economy, previously reported to have shrunk, grew at 0.6 percent. The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said the economy was improving and left doors open for a possible rate hike in September. The Fed has maintained near-zero interest rates for nearly a decade, saying it will raise rates only when it sees a sustained recovery in the economy.
Time Warner Cable Inc said on Thursday it was working towards closing the deal with Charter Communications by the end of the year. Charter said in May that it would buy Time Warner Cable in a cash-and-stock deal, which valued the larger rival at $78.7 billion. "We're well into the process of seeking regulatory approvals and planning for integration of our operation," Chief Executive Robert Marcus said on a post-earnings conference call with analysts.
P&G has been raising prices to offset the impact of a strong dollar, but this has resulted in customers turning to cheaper local alternatives. It named David Taylor as its new chief executive this week. Quarterly sales volumes fell 1-4 percent in grooming products, baby, feminine and family care products and health care products business - three of the four product segments the company is focusing on.
(Reuters) - Facebook Inc's shares fell as much as 5 percent on Thursday, after the company's weak advertising sales growth outlook dampened investor expectations boosted by Google Inc's strong report earlier this month. Facebook's shares rallied 7 percent since the search giant reported a better-than-expected profit on June 16, and said it would take a disciplined approach to spending. In contrast, Facebook said it plans to keep spending heavily on its messaging services, Instagram and its virtual reality headset business.