WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy grew in the third quarter for the first time in a year, beating market expectations, as consumer spending and new home-building rebounded, signaling the end of the worst recession in 70 years.
The Commerce Department, in its first estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product on Thursday, said the economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate, the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2007, after contracting 0.7 percent in the April-June period.
The growth pace in GDP, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, was above market expectations for a 3.3 percent rate. The economy last grew in the second quarter of 2008.
"Better than expected GDP is confirming that the Great Recession has ended," said Kevin Flanagan, fixed-income strategist for Global Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley in Purchase, New York.
"The question going forward is, is this more of a statistical recovery or are we going to get some meaningful momentum on a sustained basis."
More analysis here.