US economy grew only 1.8 percent in Q3

Washington, Dec 23 (IANS/EFE) The US economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent in the third quarter and not 2.5 percent as originally thought, the Commerce Department said Thursday in its third and final estimate for the June-September period.

Data not available at the time of the initial estimate in October showed that consumer spending expanded by only 1.7 percent in the third quarter, compared with a preliminary reading of 2.3 percent.

Consumer spending accounts for nearly 70 percent of US gross domestic product.

The revised report said prices of consumer goods excluding food and energy climbed 2.1 percent in June-September, up slightly from the original estimate of 2 percent.

The department also revised its calculation of the increase in after-tax corporate profits, from 2.5 percent to 2.1 percent.

More than two years after the official end of the worst economic slowdown since the 1930s, the pace of growth remains insufficient to make a dent in unemployment, currently at 8.6 percent.

Meeting earlier this month, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee reiterated its concerns about joblessness and anaemic growth and said it would continue to keep its benchmark interest rate below 0.25 percent.