The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.5% in the July-September quarter, the Commerce Department has said.
That was better than the 3% pace that economists had been expecting and follows the 4.6% growth rate recorded in the April-June quarter.
Strong export growth and higher government spending helped to boost growth in the third quarter.
In a sign of confidence in the US recovery, on Wednesday the Federal Reserve ended its stimulus scheme.
The fall in the unemployment rate to a six-year low has helped to boost that confidence.
“Today’s number represents a return to a healthy-looking trend. The most recent IMF forecasts suggest the US economy will grow 3.1% next year and 3.0% in 2016, and these could be revised further upwards in the coming months,” said Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers.
The report was the first of three estimates of gross domestic product, so the figure could be revised up or down, over the coming months.
Growth was lifted in the third quarter by a sharp increase in government spending, which itself was boosted by a surge in defence expenditure.
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