U.S. Economy Expanded At Slightly Faster Rate In 3rd Quarter

WASHINGTON (October 26, 2012)--The U.S. economy expanded at a slightly faster 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter from July through September, buoyed by an uptick in consumer spending and a burst of government spending, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday.

The Commerce Department said growth improved from the 1.3 percent rate in the second quarter.

The pickup in growth may help underscore President Barack Obama's message that the economy is improving, but growth remains too weak to boost hiring rapidly andAnd the 1.74 percent rate for 2012 trails last year's 1.8 percent growth, a point GOP nominee Mitt Romney will emphasize.

The report is the last snapshot of economic growth before Americans choose a president in 11 days.

The first drop in exports in more than three years and flat business investment in equipment and software held growth back.

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