U.S. Economy Grew at a Faster than Expected Pace in Third Quarter

October 26, 2018

The U.S. economy looks to be continuing its strong performance. Gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent last quarter. Economists had expected a 3.4 percent annual rate.

The increase, while stronger than expected, is down from the previous quarter. The second quarter of the year saw 4.2 percent growth. Still, Q2 and Q3 2018 mark the largest two-quarter increase in almost 4 years.

Consumer spending, which drives about two-thirds of overall economic activity, increased by 4 percent. This marks the largest increase since 2014.  Along with strong consumer spending, inflation looks to have been kept in check. The Commerce Department also said that the PCE price index, a key gauge of inflation, increased by 1.6 percent for the quarter, well below the 2.2 percent that economists had forecast.

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