The U.S. economy grew in the third quarter at its fastest pace in two years. As Fred Katayama reports, the growth in exports that drove GDP expansion may not be sustainable.
The U.S. economy hit the accelerator in the third quarter. It grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent. That's double the rate of last year's third quarter. And it's the fastest pace in two years. Spurring that growth: a surge in trade of goods like soybeans. Exports grew 10 percent. Another contributor: a buildup in stockpiles. Businesses boosted spending after working down their inventories in the previous quarter. Businesses spent less, however, on equipment. Consumer spending grew, but that rate of growth slowed from the second quarter. And spending on non-durable goods fell. FAO Economics chief economist Robert Brusca said, "Great headline with terrible guts. With the dollar at a three-month high, the outlook for U.S. exports generally isn't that good. Firms are building inventories again but not that strongly. It's not a great story." Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized the report, saying, "America can do better than the modest growth of 2.9 percent." This is the last report voters will see about the health of their economy before they go to the polls on November 8.