Real gross domestic product (GDP) was up 3.1% in the United States in the third quarter of 2012, according to the Commerce Department.
The GDP increase was larger than the 1.3% increase in the second quarter. It was also larger than had been expected: the growth rate was revised up 0.4% from its second estimate, which was released in November.
Commerce said inventory investment was the main driver of 3Q acceleration in real economic growth. Positive contributions came from increased nonfarm inventory investment, consumer spending for durable goods, and federal national defense spending as well as state and local government spending. Negatives drivers to real economic growth were lower consumer spending for services as well as a downturn in business investment, mainly from lower spending on equipment and software.
Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its estimate of third quarter corporate profits: profits were up 2.4% percent at a quarterly rate. They rose 1.1% in the second quarter. However, this was driven by profits of financial corporations, which rose 17.5%; profits from nonfinancial corporations were down 1.3%. Profits from the rest of the world were down 1.9%.
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