WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy grew an annualized real 2.8 percent in the third quarter of 2013, beating the average market estimate on the back of strong residential investment and exports, Commerce Department data showed Thursday.
The overall growth in terms of inflation-adjusted gross domestic product marked the 10th straight quarter of expansion. The pace of GDP growth accelerated from 2.5 percent in the second quarter.
The rate of growth in personal consumption, which accounts for two-thirds of the world’s largest economy, on the other hand, slowed to 1.5 percent in the July-September period, down from a 1.8 percent rise in the preceding quarter and marking the lowest increase since the second quarter of 2011, the department said in a preliminary report.
In the third quarter, growth in private residential investment widened to 14.6 percent, up from a 14.2 percent gain in the second quarter.
Exports grew 4.5 percent in the reporting quarter, against an 8.0 percent expansion in the April-June period, while imports rose 1.9 percent, compared with a 6.9 percent rise in the previous quarter.
Private investment in nonresidential items such as plant, equipment and software, another main force behind economic growth, grew 1.6 percent, down from 4.7 percent in the previous quarter.
Spending on durable goods such as automobiles and furniture expanded 7.8 percent, up from 6.2 percent in the second quarter, while spending on nondurable goods, including food, clothing and energy, climbed 2.7 percent, up from 1.6 percent.
The GDP deflator, a closely watched yardstick of inflation, rose 1.9 percent, up from a 0.6 percent rise in the second quarter.
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