The economy expanded even faster in the third quarter than previously reported, offering fresh evidence that the U.S. entered the final months of 2014 on an accelerated track. Gross domestic product rose by a 3.9% annual pace in the period running from the beginning of July to the end of September, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Initially, the government had said the economy grew by 3.5%. In the past two quarters, GDP has grown by an average of 4.2%, the strongest six-month stretch since the middle of 2003. Consumer spending was revised up to 2.2% from 1.8%, while the increase in business investment in equipment was raised to 10.7% from 7.2%. Companies also boosted inventories, which add to GDP, by $79.1 billion instead $62.8 billion. On the downside, export growth was lowered to 4.9% from 7.8%. Imports fell at a 0.7% annual rate vs. a prior estimate of 1.7%. Inflation as measured by the PCE index was little changed, rising 1.3% in the third quarter.
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