The U.S. economy grew at its strongest pace in two years in the third quarter, according to government data released Friday morning, lifting hopes that the economy is finally recovering momentum after many quarters of sustained weakness.
Between the months of July and September, the nation’s gross domestic product expanded at an annualized rate of 2.9 percent, fast enough to create new jobs and pare down the unemployment rate, economists said. The reading surpassed expectations of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, who had forecast growth of 2.6 percent.
The data, which was released by the Commerce Department, showed the nation’s economy bouncing back following months of sluggish economic growth. Growth in GDP — a broad measure of America’s economic activity — has remained below 2.7 percent for the previous seven quarters.
“It’s a sigh of relief after just over barely 1 percent growth in the first half of the year,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC.
The rebound was driven by a surge in American exports abroad, which rose 10 percent in the quarter, the biggest increase in nearly three years. Businesses also made new purchases to restock their inventories, after struggling to draw down on large stockpiles of goods in previous quarters. Consumer spending, which had buoyed growth in the spring, moderated somewhat into the summer.
SOURCE: Ana Swanson
The Washington Post