US Economy Grew 4.1% in Third Quarter

Happy Holidays, Uncle Sam. The economy is picking up steam.

WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy grew at a robust 4.1% annual rate in the third quarter, much faster than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said Friday.

The department's final estimate of gross domestic product growth was sharply higher than the 3.6% pace in its prior assessment of expansion in the world's largest economy.

The upward revision surprised analysts who on average expected the department would leave the 3.6% figure unchanged.

In the second quarter, GDP increased at a 2.5% rate.

Consumer spending that was much stronger than initially believed led the revised estimate, the department said.

The spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 2.0% in the third quarter, 0.6 percentage point higher than the prior estimate.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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