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Report: U.S. Economy Up 3.2% for Third Quarter

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December 21, 2017 by   Leave a Comment

The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.2% annual rate from July through September, slightly slower than previously estimated but still enough to give the country the best back-to-back quarterly growth rates in three years.

As reported by the Associated Press, the figure was revised down from last month’s estimate of 3.3%, the Commerce Department reported today (Dec. 21). The change reflected a bit less spending by consumers, which was offset somewhat by increased spending by state and local governments.

Still, the 3.2% growth followed a 3.1% gain in the second quarter, the first consecutive quarters that growth has topped 3% since 2014.

President Donald Trump has pointed to these gains as evidence his economic program is producing results. Many economists believe GDP growth this quarter could hit 3% or better.

Congress this week passed a major tax overhaul, giving Trump the biggest legislative achievement of his first year in office. Economists believe the proposal will boost growth temporarily in 2018 and possibly 2019. But then they forecast that the positive effects will fade, with slower growth going forward due to higher interest rates stemming from the bigger government deficits.

But at the moment, economists are optimistic about growth prospects. If GDP hits 3% this quarter, it would mark the first time that has occurred since three quarters in late 2004 and early 2005.

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