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GDP Accelerating to 2.9 Percent Helping U.S. Overcome Sandy Woes

Bloomberg (11/18/12) Shobhana Chandra; Steve Matthews

The U.S. economy looks set to weather the headwinds from Hurricane Sandy and the budget battles in Washington after picking up speed in the third quarter, according to economists from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays Plc. The economists say gross domestic product probably increased at about a 2.9% annual rate in July-September, which would be the fastest quarterly growth this year, beating the Commerce Department’s initial estimate of 2.0%.

“The economy’s momentum has picked up a bit” as the fundamentals of the private sector “are improving,” says Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs. While the damage from Sandy and an anticipated tightening of fiscal policy mean growth will decelerate this quarter and next, the world’s largest economy may emerge on stronger footing in the second half of 2013.