WASHINGTON — Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the U.S. — increased at an annual rate of 2.4% in the first quarter of 2013, according to the preliminary estimate released by the Commerce Department Thursday.

The GDP growth was a hair shy of the 2.5% increase projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, but was much stronger than the 0.4% increase reported in the final quarter of 2012. The advance estimate released in April originally pegged first quarter growth at 2.5%.

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