GDP third quarter revisions coming

The latest revision of third quarter GDP finds the U.S. economy growing even faster than we'd thought this summer -- 3.1 percent.

Jeremy Hobson: In just a few hours, we'll get the final, official reading on GDP for the third quarter. That's a measure of all of the goods and services that make up the U.S. economy. Now, I can safely say we're not going to be anywhere near China's 9 percent growth.

But as our Washington bureau chief John Dimsdale reports, all signs do point to an uptick.


John Dimsdale: Last spring, GDP growth was barely above 1 percent and there was talk of a double-dip recession. But by summer, GDP was up a much healthier 2 percent.

And Nigel Gault with IHS Global Insight expects fourth quarter growth will top 3 percent.

Nigel Gault: The optimism is coming from some pent up demand starting to kick in. Those people who are in work are feeling a little bit more confident, a little more willing to take the risk of making that big purchase. 

Some good domestic news is boosting that confidence. Gary Thayer is chief economist at Wells Fargo Advisers. He says jobless claims have dropped to the lowest levels in three years, and gasoline prices are falling. 

Gary Thayer: The two of those things together are positive for the consumer and I think that’s keeping them still in the market and buying goods particularly during the holiday season. So that’s helping our economy.

Still, he says, global forces, especially in Europe, remain a threat to the U.S. recovery.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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