U.S. economy grew strong 3.5% in third quarter

The U.S. economy grew 3.5% in the third quarter — July to September — compared to the same time a year ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. It’s the best quarter of growth in two years. The first estimate, published in October, had the economy growing at 2.9% in the third quarter. It was also the last look at the economy’s performance in the months leading up to the election, when President-elect Donald Trump criticized America’s slow growth on the campaign trail.

It’s also closer to the 4% growth that Trump has promised for the economy. Despite the improved reading in the quarter, it won’t move the needle much for all of 2016. The U.S. economy grew at a sluggish pace in the first half of the year, averaging 1.1%, and many economists still forecast around 2% growth for the entire year.

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