The U.S. economy grew at a sizzling 5% annual rate in the July-September period, the fastest in more than a decade, boosted by strength in consumer spending and business investment.
The Commerce Department on Tuesday sharply revised up its estimate of third-quarter growth from a previous figure of 3.9%. Much of the strength came from consumer spending on health care and business spending on structures and computer software.
It was the fastest quarterly growth since the summer of 2003. It followed a 4.6% annual growth rate in the April-June quarter.
Most economists think growth is slowing to an annual rate of around 2.5% in the current October-December quarter. They foresee growth around 3% in 2015.
That would be the strongest figure since the economy expanded 3.3% in 2005, two years before the Great Recession began.
The 2007-2009 downturn, the worst since the 1930s, cost millions of people their jobs. Since then, the economy has struggled to regain full health. Even after the recession ended in June 2009, the economy has turned in mediocre growth rates averaging 2.2% annually.
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Jeffrey R. Ungvary President