According to MarketWatch, the U.S. expanded by a 2.8% annual pace in the third quarter, matching the biggest increase in a year, boosted by a large buildup in business inventories and an improved trade picture.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast 2.3% growth. Yet consumer spending, the main engine of the U.S. economy, slowed to a 1.5% increase from 1.8% in the second quarter, indicating the economy entered the fourth quarter with little momentum. Business investment also weakened, up just 1.6% vs. a 4.7% gain in the second quarter. And federal spending fell for the fourth straight quarter, down 1.7%. On the positive side, investment in the housing sector remained strong with a 14.6% increase and exports outpaced imports.