WASHINGTON – The gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent in the third quarter, a tenth of a point below the preliminary estimate, the US Department of Commerce reported on Thursday.
Despite the downward revision of GDP growth between July and September, the pace of economic activity was the highest since early 2015. Most economists expected the GDP to grow at a 3.3 percent pace in the third quarter.
Consumer spending, which accounts for almost two-thirds of US GDP, increased at an annualized rate of 2.2 percent, compared to 2.3 percent in the preliminary estimate.
The steady improvement in economic activity has led the Federal Reserve to raise the benchmark interest rate three times this year, with the most recent hike coming last week to a range of between 1.25 percent and 1.5 percent.
President Donald Trump, who took office on Jan. 20, promised that the economy would expand at a rate above 3 percent, propelled by an ambitious economic plan that includes a reduction in regulations and the broadest tax reforms since the 1980s.
After a complicated process in Congress, the tax plan was approved on Wednesday by both chambers and, according to Republicans, will boost GDP growth to nearly 4 percent a year.