U.S. Economy Grew 2% in Third Quarter

Gross domestic product – the broadest measure of economic performance – grew at a 2% annual rate during the three months through September, the weakest of the recovery, according to an advance estimate released Thursday by the Commerce Department.

Personal consumption grew at a 1.6% pace after accelerating 12% during the second quarter. Businesses have since the reopening of the global economy struggled to keep store shelves stocked due to supply-chain bottlenecks and labor deficiencies. The supply shortages have resulted in higher prices for the consumer.

Core personal consumption expenditures, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, increased 4.5% in the third quarter. While that was below the 6.1% increase in the second quarter, it remained well above the Fed’s 2% long-term target.

Increases in private inventory investment, personal consumption expenditures, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment were partly offset by a drop in residential fixed investment, federal government spending, and exports.

Weaker motor vehicle expenditures subtracted 2.39 percentage points from GDP during the quarter.

Record imports of foreign goods resulted in net exports deducting 1.14 percentage points from growth.