Third-quarter gross domestic product, a measure of the total goods and services produced in the July-to-September period, expanded at a 33.1% annualized pace, according to the department’s initial estimate for the period.
The gain came after a 31.4% plunge in the second quarter and was better than the 32% estimate from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The previous post-World War II record was the 16.7% burst in the first quarter of 1950.
Q3 growth came amid a resurgence in consumer activity, which accounts for 68% of GDP. Though most of the country remained in a cautious reopening, shoppers began returning to stores and the bar and restaurant industry entered the first tepid phase of resuming business despite restrictions on capacity.
Personal consumption increased 40.7%, while gross private domestic investment surged 83% amid a 59.3% increase on the residential side.