U.S. Economy Jumps 3.9%

Healthy growth in most sectors but housing

The U.S. economy grew by a sharply better-than-expected 3.9% in the third quarter from a year ago, despite housing and credit woes, the Commerce Department said Oct. 31.

The economy picked up pace from the 3.8% growth spurt in the second quarter to post the strongest expansion since the 2006 first quarter, the data showed.

The strong performance by the world's largest economy exceeded analysts' consensus forecast of a 3.1% rise in gross domestic product.

Driving the expansion was healthy growth in most sectors, except for the housing sector which shaved more than a percentage point from growth, posting a 20.4% decline, its worst performance in two years.

Consumer spending rebounded to a 3% annualized pace, after a weak 1.4% gain in the second quarter. Exports, underpinned by a weak dollar, continued to support the expansion with a 16.2% increase.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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