U.S. GDP growth in third quarter raised to 2.1% from 1.9%
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. economy grew at a 2.1% annual pace in the third quarter, a few ticks higher than previously estimated. Gross domestic product was originally estimated to have grown 1.9%. The improved figure stemmed mostly from upward revisions in inventories and investment in structures, the government said. The increase in consumer spending, the main engine of growth, was left at 2.9%. Business fixed investment was revised to show a 1% drop instead of 1.3%. The change in the value of inventories or unsold goods was raised to $79.8 billion from $69 billion. Exports rose a bit faster at 0.9% and imports advanced 0.8% instead of 0.4% as initially reported. Most other figures in the report were little changed, including inflation. Meanwhile, the first estimate of corporate earnings in the third quarter showed a scant increase. Adjusted corporate profits before taxes edged up 0.2%. For the full year profits are basically running flat vs. 2018.