— The U.S. economy grew faster in the third quarter than
initially estimated, expanding at its strongest pace in two years
in a rebound from a weak first half of 2016.
economic output, also known as gross domestic product, expanded at
a 3.2 percent annual pace from July through September, the
Commerce Department said.
figure was up from an initial estimate of 2.9 percent and the best
performance since the economy expanded at a 5 percent annual rate
in the third quarter of 2014.
Commerce Department will release a final estimate of third quarter
growth next month.
solid growth comes after the economy struggled through the first
half of the year, expanding at just a 0.8 percent rate in the
first quarter and improving somewhat to a still-lackluster 1.4
percent in the second quarter.
analysts expecting fourth-quarter growth also to top 3 percent,
the economy appears ripe for another interest rate increase by the
Federal Reserve to head off a potential jump in inflation.
monetary policymakers have signaled they will nudge up the central
bank’s benchmark short term rate at their Dec. 1314 meeting.
key reason for the upward revision in third quarter growth was
stronger consumer spending.
consumption expenditures increased at a 2.8 percent annual rate
compared with an earlier estimate of 2.1 percent.
new figure was down from unusually strong 4.3 percent annual pace
in the second quarter, but still represented solid growth from a
key driver of the economy.
exports, which have been struggling because of the strong dollar,
rebounded to grow at a 10.1 percent annual rate in the third
quarter, the best since 2013.
had grown at just a 1.8 percent rate from April through June and
had declined in each of the three previous quarters.
private domestic investment increased at a 2.1 percent annual rate
in the third quarter, which was lower than the first estimate of
it was the first quarterly increase in a year. Private-sector
investment declining at a 7.9 percent pace in the second quarter.