CCN) — The U.S. economy grew at an annual pace of 3.3 percent between July and September, its best showing in three years, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Wednesday.
The strong performance was led by a marked increase in business investment, and occurred despite widespread damage caused by two major hurricanes during the quarter.
Wednesday’s numbers represent the fastest expansion in gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of economic output — since a 5.2 percent annual spurt in the third quarter of 2014.
The estimated growth for the July-September quarter marked an improvement on 3.1 annual growth in the second quarter and a 1.2 annual pace in the January-March quarter.
Bureau economists said business investment increased at a strong 7.3 percent annual pace from July through September, the sharpest pickup since the end of 2016.
Meanwhile, consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic output, grew at an annual pace of 2.3 percent, down from 3.3 percent in the second quarter, and government spending and investment rose for the first time in three quarters, led by an uptick in defense spending.
The bureau, an agency of the Commerce Department, will release its third and final estimate of third-quarter GDP on Dec. 21.