Unlike the seventh game of the World Series, the debate over the economy’s strength sometimes seems like a playoff competition that goes on forever between skeptics and believers. But on Thursday, the boosters won at least a temporary victory with a government report that estimated the nation’s economic output rose at a healthy 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter.
After an even faster pace of growth in the spring, the higher-than-expected advance in gross domestic product — a measure of all the goods and services produced in the United States — was driven by gains across the board, bolstered by an unusual burst of military spending and a more favorable trade balance.
“This is the strongest six-month interval we’ve had in 10 years,” said Carl R. Tannenbaum, chief economist at the Northern Trust Company. “The pace of the expansion has clearly increased.”
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