The Commerce Department will release its first snapshot of third-quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Consumer spending to moderate
The data comes one day after the Federal Reserve ended its asset purchasing program. Fed officials, who saw sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy, described business investment as "advancing."
While growth in consumer spending is expected to have decelerated from the second-quarter's 2.5 percent pace, it likely still contributed to GDP growth. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.
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The moderate pace of consumer spending likely helped keep inflation pressure under wraps during the quarter, with the two price indexes in the report expected to have decelerated sharply.
Declining gasoline prices and accelerating job growth, which is expected to lift wages, will provide tailwinds for consumer spending in the fourth quarter.
Housing will be another source of growth thanks to a rebound in home building and sales, which lifted brokers' commissions. Spending on home improvements will also help. Government spending is also expected to offer some support.
A smaller trade deficit should be another boost to growth. Although there are concerns a strengthening dollar and slowing euro zone and Chinese economies will crimp U.S. export growth, economists believe the impact will be marginal.
"We expect the positive momentum established in the third quarter to carry over into the fourth quarter," said Guy Berger, an economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut. "We believe the direct impact on U.S. GDP from a strong dollar and slower global growth is small."