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U.S. economy grew in third quarter at fastest rate in two years

By Doug G. Ware
U.S. economy grew in third quarter at fastest rate in two years
The U.S. gross domestic product grew by an inflation- and seasonally-adjusted rate of 2.9 percent for the period between July and September -- the fastest growth rate in two years -- in the final economic assessment before the Nov. 8 presidential election. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. gross domestic product grew by 2.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016, the Department of Commerce reported Friday.

The number is higher than most analysts expected and considerably better than the second quarter growth of 1.4 percent. Experts predicted a growth rate of between 2.5-2.6 percent.

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The July-September period notched the fastest growth rate seen in two years.

Analysts said the unexpected growth, though, is more of a rebound from slow growth than it is a significant expansion from normal growth.

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"It's a sigh of relief after just over barely 1 percent growth in the first half of the year," PNC economist Stuart Hoffman said.

Strong exports and average consumer spending contributed to the growth, experts noted.

Friday's numbers are the last gauged for the domestic economy before the election, and in the past have had some influence on how voters will decide. Any influence of these numbers might tend to favor Democrat Hillary Clinton, experts believe.

Since the recession ended in 2009, the U.S. economy has grown at an annual rate of about 2 percent, which historically is the weakest expansion in close to 70 years.

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