The U.S. economy grew at a much faster pace than initially thought in the third quarter, pointing to strengthening fundamentals that should help it weather slowing global demand. The Commerce Department on Tuesday raised its estimate of GDP growth to a 3.9 percent annual pace from the 3.5 percent rate reported last month, reflecting upward revisions to business and consumer spending, as well as to inventories.
The rise in output followed a 4.6 percent advance in the prior three months to mark the two strongest back-to-back quarters since the second half of 2003. It underscored the economy’s resilience against a backdrop of a Japanese recession, an anemic euro zone and a slowing China. “This report will go some way in providing further confirmation about the sustainability of the current economic recovery,” said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York.
Economists had expected growth would be trimmed to a 3.3 percent pace. When measured from the income side, the economy grew at its fastest pace since the first quarter of 2012. But the otherwise upbeat picture was marred somewhat by other data showing consumer confidence sliding to a five-month low and a further moderation in house price gains.