The world's largest economy has seen its total output expand by a rate that the US President had expected to see because of his tax and investment policy. But for all of 2017, the rate will be hard to maintain.
The US economy grew at a steady annual rate of 3 percent in the third quarter, marking the first time in three years that economic expansion hit at least 3 percent for two consecutive quarters, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
The July-September advance in gross domestic product, the country's total output of goods and services, followed a 3.1 percent in the previous quarter.
The world's largest economy continued on a solid growth path despite the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which many analysts believe shaved at least one-half percentage point off growth.
Government spends less
Friday's figures were certain to be cited by US President Donald Trump, who pledged during last year's campaign that his economic program would boost growth from the anemic 2.2 percent averages seen since the country emerged from the Great Recession in mid-2009.
For all of 2017, forecasters believe the economy will grow at an annual rate of around 2.2 percent, rising to 2.4 percent next year. That would be an improvement from the meager 1.5 percent in 2016, but would still fall below the expectations of the Trump administration.
Consumer spending slowed to 2.4 percent growth in the third quarter. But that was offset by a strong 8.6-percent gain in business investment in equipment.
By contrast, government spending fell for a third straight quarter, dropping by 0.1 percent.
hg/jd (AFP, AP, dpa)