US economy expanded at brisk 3.3 pct. pace in third quarter

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at an annual pace of 3.3 percent from July through September, the fastest in three years.

The government says third-quarter growth exceeded the 3 percent expansion it had initially reported.

The performance, achieved despite two devastating hurricanes, marked the fastest expansion in gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of economic output — since a 5.2 percent annual spurt in the third quarter of 2014.

The third-quarter numbers marked an improvement on second-quarter growth of 3.1 percent.

Business investment increased at a 7.3 percent annual pace from July through September, biggest pickup since the end of 2016. But consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic output, grew at an annual pace of just 2.3 percent, down from 3.3 percent in the second quarter.