U.S. GDP booms at 33.1% rate in Q3, better than expected

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  • U.S. GDP accelerated at a 33.1% annualized pace in the third quarter.
  • That was better than the 32% estimate from a Dow Jones economist survey.
  • A surge in business and residential investment along with stronger consumer activity helped the economy off its worst-ever quarter in Q2.

Coming off the worst quarter in history, the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace ever in the third quarter as a nation battered by an unprecedented pandemic started to put itself back together.

Third-quarter gross domestic product, a measure of the total goods and services produced in the July-to-September period, expanded at a 33.1% annualized pace, the Commerce Department reported Thursday in its initial estimate for the period.

Markets reacted positively to the news, with Wall Street now looking at a flat to slightly positive open.

That came after a 31.4% plunge in the second quarter and was better than the 32% estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The previous post-World War II record was the 16.7% burst in the first quarter of 1950.

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