U.S. Economy Booms in Q3

Coming off the worst quarter in history, the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace ever in the third quarter as a nation battered by an unprecedented pandemic put itself back together.

Figures released Thursday by the U.S. Commerce Department revealed third-quarter gross domestic product, a measure of the total goods and services produced in the July-to-September period, expanded at a 33.1% annualized pace.

That came after a 31.4% plunge in the second quarter and was better than the 32% estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The previous post-World War II record was the 16.7% burst in the first quarter of 1950.

Increased consumption along with sold gains in business and residential investment as well as exports fueled the third-quarter rebound.

Q3 growth came amid a resurgence in consumer activity, which comprises about two thirds of GDP. Though most of the country remained in a cautious reopening, shoppers began returning to stores and the bar and restaurant industry entered the first tepid phase of resuming business despite restrictions on capacity.