Nation & World News

U.S. Economy Grew At 3.6 Percent In Third Quarter; Jobless Claims Dip

By Bill Chappell on December 5th, 2013

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.6 percent in the third quarter, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s a rise from the second quarter, when the real gross domestic product tallied a 2.5 percent gain.

The pace of growth is the fastest since the first quarter of 2012, which clocked in at 3.7 percent.

Thursday’s release is the “second” estimate for the third quarter, following up on data released in November that put the GDP’s increase at 2.8 percent.

But the increase belies some potentially troubling signs. As The Associated Press notes, “Almost the entire third-quarter revision was due to a big jump in stockpiles. Consumer spending, the lifeblood of the economy, was the weakest in nearly four years.”

It adds:

“When excluding inventories, the economy grew at a 1.9 percent rate in the third quarter, down from 2.1 percent in the spring. That’s in line with the same subpar rate that the economy has seen since the Great Recession ended four years ago.”

Other factors in the revision included a rise in imports that was smaller in the third quarter than in the second, as well as an increase in spending by state and local governments.

In other economic news, the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell below 300,000 last week, to 298,000, the Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.

The agency says the seasonally adjusted data reflect “a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 321,000.”

As was the case after cheery U.S. economic news about hiring and international trade emerged earlier this week, the stock market seems to be set for another dismal day, as the increases drive investors to fear that the Federal Reserve might consider tapering its monthly stimulus spending that was meant to prop up the economy.

“The markets are worried about the fact that strong numbers from the States could perhaps spark tapering in December,” Julian Chillingworth, chief investment officer at Rathbone Brothers in London, tells Bloomberg.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Pope Francis opens the morning session of a two-week synod on family issues at the Vatican, on Saturday.

Vatican Bishops Scrap Opening To Gays, Divorced Members

Earlier this week an interim summary of the synod on family issues included conciliatory language on gays and on the taking of holy communion for divorced church members.


An artist's rendering of the flyby with Mars orbiters taking cover. Note that the image says "spacecraft not to scale."

Mars Probes Give Scientists Box Seats For Rare Comet Flyby

A “mountain-sized” comet known as Siding Spring will pass very close to the red planet, where orbiters from the U.S., Europe and India, hope to get close – but not too close — to the action.


Pro-democracy protesters set up new barricades after riot police retreated from a main road at Mong Kok shopping district in Hong Kong early Saturday.

Hong Kong Activists Clash With Police, Retake Protest Site

Pro-democracy protesters have replaced barricades in the congested Mong Kong district of the city hours after authorities dismantled the obstacles.


People stand on the island's south shore to feel the winds from approaching Hurricane Gonzalo, in Astwood Park, Bermuda on Friday. The storm has knocked out power to half of the residents of the British island territory.

Hurricane Gonzalo Hits Bermuda; Ana To Skirt Past Hawaii

In the British island territory, Gonzalo has wiped out power to roughly half of the island’s 70,000 inhabitants.


The Supreme Court early Saturday declined to block a Texas Voter ID law for the November election.

Supreme Court Lets Texas Enforce Voter ID Law For Nov. Election

With three justices dissenting, the high court’s ruling effectively blocks a lower federal court decision declaring the law restrictive and unconstitutional.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments