United States economy grew at 3.2% rate in 3rd quarter

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USA economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the third quarter of the year, slightly lower than 3.3 percent previously estimated, according to the final revision of US gross domestic product (GDP) by the Commerce Department. If, say, top-line growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) turns out to be 3.1 percent in 2018, it matters enormously if you thought growth would be 3.0 percent in the absence of TCJA versus if you thought growth would be 2.3 percent. Gross domestic output, which is considered by many economists to be a better measure of growth, was revised down to 2.6 per cent from 2.9 per cent. As one of the purposes of his mandate, the United States president, Donald Trump, aims at achieving an annual growth of three to four percent in a sustained manner.

Consumer spending climbed by 2.2 percent in the third quarter compared to the previously reported 2.3 percent increase. The economy expanded at a 3.1% rate in the second quarter.

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Big picture: The economy enters the fourth quarter with a lot of momentum The big questions are can this be sustained and what will the impact of the Republican tax cut on an economy already operating at close to full employment.

Growth in the third quarter was also boosted by an accumulation of unsold goods and a rebound in government investment.

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One of the larger positives among business spending was inventories, with business spending to restock their shelves contributing 0.79 percentage points to real GDP in the third quarter. Profits rose at only a 0.1 percent pace in the second quarter.

In a separate report, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 245,000 for the week ended December 16. That figure has fallen about 5 percent in the past year. Labour market tightness and a strengthening economy encouraged the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates last week for a third time this year. The four-week average of claims fell 4,000 between the November and December survey weeks, suggesting another month of strong job growth.

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