U.S. Commerce Department figures released yesterday show that the economy grew at a 4.3% annual rate from July through September. The third-quarter growth is the fastest since the first quarter of 2004. During this period, the nation’s gross domestic product rose to $11.2 trillion when annualized and adjusted for inflation. Without adjustment, the economy grew at a 7.4% annual pace, to $12.6 trillion, for the quarter.
Consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of the economy, expanded at a 4.2% annual pace for the third quarter. This was an improvement over the second quarter’s 3.4%, and better than the 3.9% economists had expected for the period.