Economy Expands at 3.5 Percent in Third Quarter of 2016

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December 22, 2016

The U.S. economy expanded in the third quarter of 2016 as real gross domestic product grew at a rate of 3.5 percent, according to the third estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Real GDP represents the value of the production of goods and services in the economy and is adjusted for inflation. The third quarter growth in 2016 of 3.5 percent, which includes performance from July, August and September, was an increase from the 1.4 percent growth seen in the second quarter of 2016.

The GDP estimate released Thursday was revised up from the second estimate of 3.2 percent that the bureau released earlier this year.

"With this third estimate for the third quarter, nonresidential fixed investment, personal consumption expenditures, and state and local government spending increased more than previously estimated, but the general picture of economic growth remains the same," the bureau said.

Real GDP in the third quarter of 2016 also increased from the previous year, when GDP expanded at 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to the third estimate.

"The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from PCE, exports, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and federal government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased," the bureau said.

The bureau will release its advance estimate for the fourth quarter of 2016 on Jan. 27.

Published under: Economy