As the country heads into 2013, economists are dealing with a slew of mildly positive and negative economic news all at once. 

Jobless claims for the week ending Dec. 15 shot up by 17,000 filings, reaching 361,000 claims this past week. That is up from 344,000 claims a week earlier.

However, the four-week jobless claims moving average declined by 13,750 filings, hitting 367,750 claims.

On the other hand, the nation’s economy grew with real domestic product – the output of all goods and services – growing at a 3.1% rate in the third quarter based on the third estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

This is higher than the second estimate of 2.7% growth and it reflects a modest pickup in personal consumption expenditures.

“For its final estimate for the third quarter, GDP got a notable upgrade,” Econoday said. “Real GDP growth for the third quarter was revised up to 3.1 percent annualized, compared to the second estimate of 2.7 percent annualized and to the advance estimate of 2.0 percent. Second quarter growth was a meager 1.3 percent. The latest number topped market expectations for a 2.8 percent advance.”

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