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U.S. economy picks up steam before Election Day


10:41, October 27, 2012

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- U.S. economic growth gained momentum to a moderate pace in the third quarter of this year, triggering starkly opposite responses from the Obama administration and the Republican presidential campaign.

U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 2 percent in the third quarter, a welcome acceleration from 1.3 percent in the second quarter and was the thirteenth straight quarter of economic growth, said U.S. Commerce Department in a report Friday.

The latest rate was slightly better than market expectations, but far from robust enough to make a significant dent in the high unemployment rate hovering at 7.8 percent.

The increase of the nation's real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), federal government spending, and residential fixed investment, the department said in its last such report before the Nov. 6 presidential election day.

Real personal consumption expenditures rose 2 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in the second quarter, reported the department.

Personal consumption accounted for about 70 percent of the total economic activity in the world's largest economy.

Real residential fixed investment gained 14.4 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 8.5 percent in the second quarter. Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment rose 9.6 percent in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 0.2 percent in the second quarter, noted the report.

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