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U.S. economy grew by 2.3% in third quarter amid pandemic uncertainty

U.S. economy grew by 2.3% in third quarter amid pandemic uncertainty
Traders wear face masks as they work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on Monday. The Commerce Department said Wednesday the economy grew by 2.3%. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 22 (UPI) -- The economy grew 2.3% in the third quarter, down more than four points from second-quarter growth of 6.7%, the Commerce Department said in its latest report released Wednesday.

The third-quarter gross domestic product estimate was revised from a previous estimate of 2.1%.

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"The update primarily reflects upward revisions to personal consumption expenditures and private inventory investment that were partly offset by a downward revision to exports," the Commerce Department said. "Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, were revised down."

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact GDP, the report said.

"A resurgence of COVID-19 cases resulted in new restrictions and delays in the reopening of establishments in some parts of the country," the Commerce Department said. "Government assistance payments in the form of forgivable loans to businesses, grants to state and local governments and social benefits to households all decreased.

The arrival of the Omicron variant in late November has some uneasy about the effect the coronavirus will have on the economy in the fourth quarter.

"The economic recovery remains robust but volatile -- and we may still see more volatility in the first quarter as businesses and consumers contend with the impact of the Omicron variant," T.J. Connelly, head of research at Contingent Macro, told Market Watch.

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"Consensus forecasts are still at 4% for the first quarter, down from 4.5% and likely moving lower."

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