The U.S. economy slowed in the third quarter as previously reported, but the pace was likely strong enough to keep growth on track to hit the Trump administration’s 3 percent target this year, even as momentum appears to have moderated further early in the fourth quarter.
Gross domestic product increased at a 3.5 percent annualized rate, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday in its second estimate of third-quarter GDP growth. That was unchanged from its estimate in October and well above the economy’s growth potential, which economists estimate to be about 2 percent.
The economy grew at a 4.2 percent pace in the second quarter. While businesses accumulated inventory at a faster pace and spent more on equipment than initially thought in the third quarter, that was offset by downward revisions to consumer spending and exports.
Growth is being driven by the White House’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package, which has given consumer spending a jolt and supported business investment. The fiscal stimulus is part of measures adopted by President Donald Trump’s administration to boost annual growth to 3 percent on a sustainable basis.
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