Washington - The US economy defied expectations to see growth pick up in the second quarter, according to government data, boosted by some forms of investment and stronger consumer spending than expected. GDP growth in the world’s biggest economy came in at an annual rate of 2.4 percent for the April-June period, said the Commerce Department, despite analyst expectations of a slower rate. This was also an increase from the two percent rate in the first three months of 2023. Although economists have been warning of a potential slowdown as the US central bank raised interest rates rapidly in the last year to tamp down demand and lower inflation, the economy has proven more resilient than expected. In the first quarter, GDP growth was revised sharply higher to two percent -- from an initial estimate of 1.1 percent -- boosted by a stronger-than-anticipated consumer.