The U.S. economy posted its first period of positive growth for 2022 in the third quarter, at least temporarily easing inflation fears, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday.
GDP, a sum of all the goods and services produced from July through September, increased at a 2.6% annualized pace for the period, against the Dow Jones estimate for 2.3%.
That reading follows consecutive negative quarters to start the year, meeting a commonly accepted definition of recession, though the National Bureau of Economic Research is generally considered the arbiter of downturns and expansions.
The growth came in large part due to a narrowing trade deficit, which economists expected and consider to be a one-off occurrence that won’t be repeated in future quarters. GDP gains also came from increases in consumer spending, nonresidential fixed investment and government spending.
Declines in residential fixed investment and private inventories offset the gains, the BEA said.
The report comes as policymakers fight a pitched battle against inflation, which is running around its highest levels in more than 40 years. Price surges have come due a number of factors, many related to the pandemic but also pushed by unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus that is still working its way through the financial system.
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