The U.S. economy grew 2.8 percent in the third quarter, up from 2.5 percent in the prior three-month period, according to a preliminary report from the Commerce Department. The growth was a bit stronger than many experts had expected and was followed Friday morning by the Labor Department's announcement that the unemployment rate inched up to 7.3 percent even as the economy created 204,000 jobs.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg
had expected about 120,000 jobs to be created.
The third quarter GDP rate is considered positive news, but is not the growth economists say is needed to really turn around the economy and reduce unemployment. Experts expect growth to be shaved by 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter when the effects of the government shutdown are measured.
Areas of strong productivity included durable goods (up 7.8 percent versus 6.2 percent in the second quarter), exports and non-residential fixed investment.
Exports grew 4.5 percent quarter-over-quarter, but the growth was almost half as much as in the second quarter.