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GDP rises 3 percent in third quarter

The nation’s gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 3 percent in the third quarter, a solid performance that followed up a 3.1 percent gain in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department said today.

The government said personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, exports and federal government spending contributed to the gain, which occurred despite hurricanes that struck Texas and Florida. Imports decreased.

The department said its preliminary estimates were that hurricanes Harvey and Irma resulted in disaster losses of $121 billion in privately owned fixed assets and $10.4 billion in government-owned fixed assets. The destruction of fixed assets does not directly affect GDP, the government said.

“There are no real headwinds to growth for the first time since the expansion began,” Mark Zandi, the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, told the New York Times. “We are at full employment and we are in full swing, let the good times roll.”

Current-dollar GDP rose 5.2 percent, or $245.5 billion, in the quarter, to $19,495.5 billion. In the second quarter it increased 4.1 percent, or $192.3 billion.

Personal saving was $494.8 billion in the third quarter, compared with $545.6 billion in the prior quarter. The personal saving rate was 3.4 percent in the third quarter, compared with 3.8 percent in the previous one.

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