U.S. Economy Grew 2% in Q3

Spending increased 2.6% in the third quarter

Boosted by a rise in consumer spending, the U.S. economy grew 2% in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said on Oct. 29.

The world's largest economy showed more signs of life in the July-September period, after slowing to an annual rate of 1.7% in the second quarter from 3.7% in the first.

"The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures," a statement said.

With nearly one in 10 workers without jobs, consumers have tended to keep their wallets shut, creating a vicious circle for the spending that accounts for 70% of U.S. gross domestic product.

That trend showed signs of easing, as spending increased 2.6% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.2% in the second.

The positive trend was pared back by a 17% increase in imports, which directly reduce GDP as cash flows out of the economy.

Although the U.S. economy has grown in each of the past four quarters, growth has not been strong enough to bring down high unemployment, stuck for the past two months at 9.6%

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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