Bottom Line - Economy expanded at fastest pace in a year as summer waned
U.S. economic growth increased at its fastest in a year in the third quarter as consumers and businesses set aside fears about the recovery and stepped up spending, creating momentum that could carry into the final three months of the year.
Though part of the increase came from the reversal of temporary factors that had restrained growth, the expansion was a welcome relief for an economy that looked on the brink of recession just weeks ago.
U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said in its first estimateon Thursday. That was a big acceleration from the 1.3 percent pace in the April-June quarter and matched economists' expectations.
"The probability of a double-dip has diminished quite a bit," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University in the Channel Islands. He made the comments before the release of the report.