The U.S. economy grew faster than initially estimated in the third quarter as businesses aggressively accumulated stock, but underlying domestic demand remained sluggish.
Separate data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, a hopeful sign for the labor market recovery.
Gross domestic product grew at a 3.6 percent annual rate instead of the 2.8 percent pace reported earlier, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected output would be revised up to only a 3.0 percent rate.
The third-quarter pace is the fastest since the first quarter of 2012 and marked an acceleration from the April-June period's 2.5 percent rate. Businesses accumulated $116.5 billion worth of inventories, the largest increase since the first quarter of 1998. That compared to prior estimates of only $86 billion.