US econ­omy ex­panded at brisk pace of 3.3% in third quar­ter

The Columbus Dispatch - - Market Summary - By Paul Wise­man

WASH­ING­TON — Led by a rise in busi­ness in­vest­ment, the U.S. econ­omy grew at an an­nual pace of 3.3 per­cent from July through Septem­ber, its fastest rate in three years.

The Com­merce Depart­ment es­ti­mated Wed­nes­day that third-quar­ter growth ex­ceeded the 3 per­cent an­nual ex­pan­sion for the pe­riod that it had ini­tially re­ported last month.

The per­for­mance, achieved de­spite dam­age from two dev­as­tat­ing hur­ri­canes, marked the fastest ex­pan­sion in gross do­mes­tic prod­uct — the broad­est gauge of eco­nomic out­put — since a 5.2 per­cent an­nual spurt in the third quar­ter of 2014.

The es­ti­mated growth for the July-Septem­ber quar­ter marked an im­prove­ment on 3.1 per­cent an­nual growth in the sec­ond quar­ter and a 1.2 per­cent an­nual pace in the Jan­uary-March quar­ter.

“The news on the econ­omy had pre­vi­ously been good, but it just got a lit­tle bet­ter,” said Jim Baird, chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer at Plante Mo­ran Fi­nan­cial Ad­vi­sors.

Baird noted that the hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son ap­pears to be off to a strong start, “which bodes well for con­sumer spend­ing to pro­pel the econ­omy to a strong fin­ish to the year.”

Be­fore the re­vised thirdquar­ter num­bers came out, the Fed­eral Re­serve Bank of At­lanta was fore­cast­ing that growth would rise to a 3.4 per­cent an­nual pace in the fi­nal three months of 2017, which could bring growth for the full year close to 2.8 per­cent. In 2016, the econ­omy grew just 1.5 per­cent.

The econ­omy showed re­silience last quar­ter in the face of two hur­ri­canes: Har­vey, which hit Texas in late Au­gust, and Irma, which bat­tered Florida in Septem­ber.

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