The economy grew at a red-hot annual rate of 6.1 percent in the January-March quarter, the strongest showing in more than two years.

This latest reading on gross domestic product -- which measures the total output of goods and services produced -- also showed that the economy grew more briskly during the first quarter than previously thought, the Commerce Department reported.

The 6.1 percent growth rate is the strongest since the fourth quarter of 1999, when it rose at a 8.3 percent rate.

The report also showed that after-tax profits of U.S. corporations rose at a rate of 1.4 percent in the first quarter, an improvement from the 10.6 percent rate of decline in the previous quarter.