U.S. Economy Underperforms

Third-quarter drop in inventories points to a bounce in growth in fourth quarter.

The economy in the U.S. expanded less than previously estimated in the third quarter, reflecting a drop in inventories that points to a pickup in growth as 2011 comes to a close.

Gross domestic product climbed at a 2 percent annual rate from July through September, less than projected and down from a 2.5 percent prior estimate, revised Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for no revision. Excluding stockpiles, so-called final sales climbed 3.6 percent, the most since last year’s fourth quarter.

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