US economy grew even faster than thought in third quarter

Ben Southwood
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US ECONOMIC growth for the third quarter was 2.7 per cent, on an annualised basis, data out yesterday revealed – up from the two per cent increase originally estimated.

This came after growth running at just 1.3 per cent in the second quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said, with the increase coming from extra inventory investment, and higher federal government spending. The BEA also pointed to recovery in the housing market and slower imports as factors in the improvement.

Separately, other US data out yesterday showed new unemployment insurance claims fall below their level a year earlier. A 46,541 drop in actual claims drove a 23,000 fall in the seasonally adjusted measure, bringing it from 416,000 in the week ending 17 November to 393,000 last week. In the same week last year, there were 399,000 new claims.

The improvement was also reflected in total insured unemployment, where a 124,308 fall on the unadjusted measure drove a 70,000 fall in the seasonally adjusted figure, though for a week earlier than the new claims data. This left seasonally adjusted total claims at 3.29m – more than 400,000 lower than a year earlier.