U.S. GDP Beat Forecasts in Third Quarter, Growing 3.1%

Economists expect spurt to fade this period, amid economic and political challenges.

The U.S. economy grew at a 3.1 percent annual rate in the third quarter, more than previously reported, reflecting the first gain in state and local government spending in three years, more consumer purchases and a smaller trade gap.

The revised gross domestic product reading exceeded the highest projection in a Bloomberg survey and compared with a previously estimated 2.7 percent gain, according to Commerce Department figures released today in Washington. The median estimate of economists called for a 2.8 percent advance.

Trade Deficit

The gap between exports and imports narrowed, adding 0.38 point to third-quarter growth. Imports declined at a 0.6 percent rate during the period, the first drop in three years.

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