ECONOMIC CRISIS

US economy posts promising 3.5% GDP growth in Q3

After four quarters of economic decline, the US GDP grew at an annualised 3.5% in the July to September period according to the Commerce Department. It is the strongest growth seen in the United States for two years.

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AFP - The US economy exited recession in the third quarter, posting the strongest growth in two years, according to government data released Thursday.

After four quarters of contraction, the economy grew at an annualized 3.5 percent in the July-September period from the prior quarter, the Commerce Department reported.

It was strongest expansion since the 2007 third quarter, when a US subprime mortgage crisis triggered a global financial crisis that hammered the world economy.

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The department's first estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of the output of goods and services in the world's largest economy, was much better than the 3.2 percent rate expected by most analysts.

The department said the economy shrank an unrevised 0.7 percent in the second quarter.

The third-quarter increase was led by a rise in consumer spending, up 3.4 percent, adding 2.36 percentage points to GDP growth.

Consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of US economic activity, ground to a halt in the second half of 2008 as the financial crisis accelerated after Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers failed.

While a recession is largely regarded as over after one quarter of economic growth, in the United States the economy will not be officially out of recession until it has been declared by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of business cycles.

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