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U.S. third-quarter growth revised down to 2.0%

U.S. third-quarter growth revised down to 2.0% (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. economy grew at a 2.0% pace in the third quarter, down from an initial estimate of 2.5%, mainly because companies reduced inventories and did not invest as much, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected the government to trim its estimate to 2.3% for the period of July to September. In the third quarter, consumer spending rose 2.3%, down from an original reading of 2.4%. Nonresidential investment, initially reported to have risen 16.3%, rose a lesser 14.8%. The downward revision was largely linked to a decline in inventories, which fell $8.5 billion in the third quarter after surging $39.1 billion in the second quarter. Corporate profits also slowed to $39.8 billion from $61.2 billion in the prior quarter. Exports rose 4.3% instead of 4.0% as originally reported. Yet imports rose a much smaller 0.5% compared to an initial reading of 1.9%. Imports subtract from GDP. Excluding imports, final sales of goods and services purchased in the U.S. was left unchanged at a 3.6% increase. Inflation, as measured by the consumer PCE index, was little changed under the revised data.