Consumer spending, Economy

U.S. economy grows by 3.6 percent in third quarter

Bureau of Economic AnalysisData released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday showed that the U.S. economy grew by 3.6 percent in the third quarter, following a 2.5 percent increase in the second quarter.

The figures are the Commerce Department’s second estimate of economic growth, revised from an initial 2.8 percent last month. The revision reflects a jump in businesses’ surpluses of goods.

Prices for consumer goods in the U.S. rose 1.8 percent in the third quarter, as predicted. Excluding food and energy prices, prices only increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter, compared to 0.8 percent in the second quarter.

Consumer spending, which accounts for approximately two-thirds of the U.S. economy, slumped to 1.4 percent in the third quarter, down from 1.8 percent in the second quarter. Data from the National Retail Federation showed Thanksgiving weekend sales fell for the first time since 2006, Yahoo News reports.

Exports increased 3.7 percent in the third quarter, compared to eight percent in the second quarter, while imports rose 2.7 percent. Business investment was flat during the quarter, while spending on housing construction rose at 13 percent.

Increased economic growth could lead the Federal Reserve to taper its bond-buying program, which has helped keep interest rates low and encouraged spending and borrowing, according to Yahoo News.

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