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US Economy Peppier Than Forecast in 3rd Quarter

BUCKING several hikes in interest rates, the United States economy grew at a stronger-than-expected 3.9 percent annual rate in the third quarter.

Business investment and construction were up, according to the US Commerce Department. Consumers also spent more on nondurable goods, such as food and clothing. Spending on cars, major appliances, and other durable goods was strong but revised downward from the previous Commerce Department estimate.

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Last month, the government estimated gross domestic product - the broadest measure of the US's economic activity - rose at a 3.4 percent rate in the third quarter.