U.S. Economy Grew At 3.6 Percent In Third Quarter; Jobless Claims Dip
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.6 in the third quarter of 2013, according to new data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's a rise from the second quarter, when the real gross domestic product tallied a 2.5 percent gain.
The figures are the strongest showing for the U.S. GDP since the first quarter of 2012, when growth was reported at 3.7 percent.
Today's release is the "second" estimate for the third quarter, following up on data released in November. The "advance" estimate for the third quarter had put the GDP's increase at 2.8 percent. The BEA attributes the difference to a rise in private inventory investment that was larger than had been estimated.
Other factors related to the rise were a rise in imports that was smaller in the third quarter than in the second, and an increase in spending by state and local governments.
But, the Commerce Department agency notes, "Offsetting these movements, exports, consumer spending, and business investment each grew at a slower rate in the third quarter than in the second quarter."
In other economic news, the number of people filing first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance fell below 300,000 last week, to 298,000, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.
The agency says that the seasonally adjusted data reflects "a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 321,000."
As was the case with cheery U.S. economic news about hiring and international trade that emerged earlier this week, the stock market seems to be set for another dismal day, as the increases drive investors to fear that the Federal Reserve might consider tapering its monthly stimulus spending that was meant to prop up the economy.
"The markets are worried about the fact that strong numbers from the States could perhaps spark tapering in December," Julian Chillingworth, chief investment officer at Rathbone Brothers Plc in London, tells Bloomberg.