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Third Quarter Economic Growth Revised Up Again

The best estimate of how quickly the economy was growing in the third quarter has been revised upward again — a sign that as summer turned into fall things were better than first thought.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis now says gross domestic product grew at a 3.1 percent annual rate from the end of June through September. That's up from the 2.7 percent estimate BEA released last month, and well above its initial report — issued in October — that put the growth rate at 2 percent. Spending by consumers and governments has been greater than previously estimated.

Not all the morning's economic news is that positive, though. The Employment and Training says there were 361,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week — up 17,000 from the week before.

And there's this cautionary note from Bloomberg News about the GDP report:

"The world's largest economy will be hard-pressed to maintain that pace of growth this quarter as global demand cools and companies limit spending and hiring ahead of looming tax increases and spending cuts. While a stronger housing market will provide some cushion, the Federal Reserve is pursuing record stimulus aimed at driving bigger gains for the expansion."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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