US economy grows at 3.5 pct. clip in 3rd qtr.


The US economy grew at a solid 3.5 percent annualized rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

The government's second reading on the gross domestic product (GDP) during the July-September period marked a slight slowdown in the US economy, compared to the second quarter, when the economy expanded at a 4.2 percent rate, the fastest growth since 2014.

The figure was unchanged from the first GDP estimate released by the Commerce Department in October and was in line with analysts' expectations.

Consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of US economic activity, fell slightly.

Despite the slight slowdown, the latest GDP figures confirm that the world's largest economy was still growing in the third quarter after posting annualized growth rates of 2.5 percent in the first quarter and 4.2 percent in the second quarter.

The figures do not reflect the expected negative impact of the aggressive protectionist trade agenda of President Donald Trump, who imposed or threatened tariffs on different trade partners, including China and the European Union .

The Federal Reserve, which has raised short-term interest rates three times this year, is forecasting 3.1 percent economic growth in the US in 2018.

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