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US economy expands 3% in Q3

Author: IANS/Saturday, October 28, 2017/Categories: Global

US economy expands 3% in Q3

Washington, Oct 28 - The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3% in the third quarter of the year, slightly lower than the 3.1% in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported.

The deceleration primarily reflected drops in personal consumption expenditures, non-residential fixed investment and exports, Xinhua quoted the department as saying.

Personal consumption expenditures, which account for about two-thirds of the US economy, increased at an annual rate of 2.4% in the third quarter, lower than the second quarter's 3.3%.

Non-residential fixed investment, a measure of corporate spending on structures and equipment, grew 3.9%, down from 6.7% in the previous quarter.

Exports rose 2.3% from July to September, while imports fell 0.8%, which led to a smaller trade deficit, adding 0.41 percentage point to growth in the third quarter.

Economists had expected that US economic growth would slow down to 2.5% in the third quarter due to disruptions caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma along the Gulf Coast.

The Commerce Department said preliminary estimates showed that the two hurricanes resulted in disaster losses of $121 billion in privately-owned fixed assets and $10.4 billion in government-owned fixed assets. 

However, it was not possible to estimate the overall impact of the two hurricanes on the third-quarter gross domestic product.

Friday's report marked the first time the US economy had expanded above 3% in back-to-back quarters since 2014.

While the Trump administration has vowed to accelerate annual US economic growth to over 3%, the overall economy grew 2.1% in the first half of 2017.

The Federal Reserve last month estimated that the economy would grow at 2.4% in 2017 and 2.1% in 2018.

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