Economy

U.S. economy grew at an unrevised 33.1% rate in the third quarter

Share
Key Points
  • Gross domestic product grew at an unrevised 33.1% annualized rate, the government said in its second estimate of third-quarter output.
  • The report confirmed the economy's historic pace of expansion in the third quarter.
  • The economy contracted at a 31.4% rate in the second quarter, the deepest since the government started keeping records in 1947, the Commerce Department said.
A worker assembles footballs at the Wilson Sporting Goods facility in Ada, Ohio, on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020.
Maddie McGarvey | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gross domestic product grew at an unrevised 33.1% annualized rate, the government said in its second estimate of third-quarter output, confirming the economy's historic pace of expansion in the third quarter.

The economy contracted at a 31.4% rate in the second quarter, the deepest since the government started keeping records in 1947, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.

But the fiscal stimulus has largely expired and another rescue package is expected only after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20. President Donald Trump is heavily focused on contesting his electoral loss to Biden.

Growth estimates for the fourth quarter are below a 5% annualized rate. Despite encouraging developments on vaccines, spiraling COVID-19 infections as the cold season starts have led economists to sharply downgrade their GDP growth forecasts for the first quarter of 2021.

Goldman Sachs cut its estimate to a 1.0% rate from a 3.5% pace. JPMorgan expects GDP to contract at a 1.0% pace in the January-March quarter.

But St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard sees little risk of a resumed contraction in the economy. While some recent economic data has not been as strong as it had been earlier in the fall, nonetheless "so far I think we're holding up," he said on Tuesday.