The U.S. economy grew at a better-than-expected pace in the third quarter of 2019, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The nation’s real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a 4.9% annual rate, outpacing analyst expectations of a 4.3% annual growth rate.
The jump in growth was driven in large part by consumer spending, as households spent an additional $63.3 billion on health care and an $18.7 billion increase in spending on durable goods, such as cars and furniture. Business investment also drove the economy higher, with businesses spending 10.4% more on inventories and investments such as research and development and equipment and software.
Exports also contributed to the strong growth, as exports of goods and services increased 2.7%, while imports declined 0.1%.
The economic expansion was good news for the U.S., as it had slowed down during the second quarter. The third quarter growth has increased the likelihood that the economy will avoid a recession in 2020.