Business

US economy sees growth pick up

Chrysler production line in US
Image caption US economic growth was lifted by rising exports

The US economy grew at an annual pace of 2.8% in the third quarter of the year, latest figures have shown.

The growth rate was faster than expected, and was an improvement on the 2.5% pace seen in the previous quarter.

Growth was lifted by rising exports, businesses restocking shelves and a pick-up in home construction.

However, the pace of growth in consumer spending - which accounts for about two-thirds of US economic activity - slowed from the previous quarter.

Consumer spending grew at annual pace of 1.5%, down from 1.7% in the April-to-June period and the slowest rate since 2011.

The release of the third-quarter GDP figures was delayed by a week because of the partial shutdown of the US government last month.

Chris Thornberg, partner at Beacon Economics, said he thought 2.8% was a "good number".

"You have got to remember at the start of the year there was a $2.8bn tax increase after the fiscal cliff," he said. That, he said, had taken a 1.8% "bite out of consumer income".

Mr Thornberg added: "The only thing that worries me is that some of the growth is coming from inventory build-up, about 0.8%."

The inventory build-up refers to products that have been produced but yet sold, such as cars, he said.

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