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Economy grows slowly in the third quarter

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(Read caption) This chart shows the annual real gross domestic product (in billions of dollars) over the past decade. The GDP has recovered since dropping sharply in 2009, but growth in 2011 has been notably slow.

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Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released their second "estimate" of the Q3 2011 GDP report showing that the economy continued to expand at a notably slower pace than originally estimated with real GDP increasing at an annualized rate of just 2.0% from Q2 2011.

On a year-over-year basis real GDP increased 1.51% while the quarter-to-quarter non-annualized percent change was 0.50%.

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The latest quarterly results indicate that the most notable source of weakness in the economy came from the change in private inventories component resulting in an overall 0.9% decline to gross private domestic investment and government expenditures with non-defense spending declining 3.8% while state and local spending declined declined by 1.4%.

Fixed investment purportedly made notable contributions to Q3 GDP with non-residential fixed investment increasing 14.8% from Q2 2011 while residential fixed investment increased 1.6% over the same period.  

Personal consumption expenditures also increased notably increasing 2.3% from Q2 2011.
Keep in mind that these results are likely very poorly estimated and are sure to be revised notably in following quarters and even years to come.