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U.S. Third-Quarter GDP Revised Down to 2.0% Growth

Wall Street Journal (12/22/15) Anna Louis Sussman; Kate Davidson

Gross domestic product advanced at a 2.0% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the third quarter, revised down from a previously estimated 2.1%, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had estimated the latest revision would show 1.9% growth. The July through September reading marks a sharp slowdown from the second quarter’s 3.9% rate of expansion, reflecting the drag from inventory drawdown and a deceleration in consumer and business spending. The reading suggests 2015 is on track to close out another year of steady if unspectacular growth, bolstered by a firming job market, strong home sales, and pockets of wage increases.

The median projection from Fed officials as of December was for GDP to grow 2.1% this year and 2.4% in 2016. The new revisions show a larger drag from private inventories than had been previously estimated. Consumer spending grew at an unrevised 3.0% annual rate, contributing 2.04 percentage points to the quarter’s 2.0% growth rate.