A key measure of corporate profits rose this spring for a second straight quarter alongside modest growth in the overall economy, though U.S. businesses remain under pressure from global weakness and other forces.
Corporate profits after tax, without inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments, rose 4.9% from the prior quarter to a seasonally adjusted annual level of $1.627 trillion in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday.
Profits had jumped 8.9% in the first three months of 2016, after dropping in three of the previous four quarters. Still, the trend remains weak and second-quarter profits were down 2.2% compared with a year earlier. An alternative measure, pretax profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments, declined 1.2% in the second quarter from the prior three months.