WASHINGTON – United States economic growth in the third quarter has been upwardly revised to 3.3 percent, higher than the 3 percent annual expansion found in an initial reading and the biggest increase in three years, the government said on Wednesday.
The latest figure comes from the US Commerce Department’s second of three readings on gross domestic product (GDP) growth between July and September.
Growth in that three-month period marked the fastest year-over-year quarterly expansion since the third quarter of 2014.
The figure topped economists’ forecasts for 3.2 percent growth and also exceeded the 3.1 percent growth registered in the second quarter of 2017.
The economic expansion was partly driven by a 4.7 percent growth in business investment.
The strong GDP number is viewed as increasing the likelihood the Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark federal-funds interest rate – currently at a range of between 1 percent and 1.25 percent – at its final policy meeting of the year in mid-December.
US President Donald Trump, who took office on Jan. 20, has vowed to bring about sustained economic growth rates of more than 3 percent annually by boosting infrastructure spending and lowering the taxes paid by US corporations and many American citizens.
The US House of Representatives has already passed a tax-overhaul bill, while a Senate tax bill has reached the floor after garnering the support of key Republicans in a committee vote on Tuesday.
If the GOP manages to pass the Senate bill despite unified Democratic opposition, it would still have to be reconciled with the House version before reaching Trump’s desk.