PLANO, Texas – Data from the Commerce Department show GDP during the third quarter expanded at an annual rate of 3.1%, above the 2.7% forecast and far greater than the 1.3% of Q2.
“The improvement came namely from private inventory investment and federal government spending,” said Brian Turner, director and chief strategist with Catalyst Corporate. “The third quarter’s 2.0% initial estimate had been improved to 2.7% on the strength of business inventory buildup.”
Turner noted that the new figures put year-to-date growth at about 2.1%, a slight improvement over 2011. “However, initial estimates for the fourth quarter average around 1.5% and first quarter of 2013 is projected to be close to 1.8%. Growth rates at those levels will make it very difficult to significantly lower the unemployment rate, which was 7.7% in November.”