The U.S. economy roared into overdrive in the third quarter as consumer and business spending fueled the biggest expansion in more than a decade.
Bloomberg reported that gross domestic product grew at a 5% annual rate from July through September, the biggest advance since the third quarter of 2003 and up from a previously estimated 3.9%, revised figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 4.3% increase in GDP.
Consumer spending is poised to grow in 2015 as stronger employment and lower gasoline prices boost household buying power, one reason why the Federal Reserve will probably raise interest rates next year. Other aspects of GDP — inventories, trade and government spending — are likely to moderate, indicating growth will ease at the end of 2014. And durable goods orders declined last month, another sign last quarter’s surge may not be maintained.
“We are the locomotive of growth for the world right now,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, Ohio, whose projection for a 4.7% pace of growth was among the closest in a Bloomberg survey. “Fourth-quarter growth is probably going to be more modest,” with areas such as business investment slowing as the plunge in oil prices means less energy-related spending, he said.
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