US economy grew at 2 pct. annual rate in third quarter, slightly less than previous estimate

WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy grew at a slightly slower pace over the summer than the government had previously estimated. Most economists foresee a slight acceleration in the current quarter and stronger growth in the first half of 2016.

The Commerce Department says the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, expanded at a 2 per cent annual rate in the July-September quarter. That was a bit lower than its previous estimate of 2.1 per cent, a result of less restocking by businesses than previously estimated.

Last quarter’s expansion was significantly below the 3.9 per cent annual GDP growth in the second quarter. The slowdown reflected a cutback in the pace of inventory restocking. Economists think growth in the final quarter will amount to around a 2.2 per cent rate, helped by solid consumer spending.