US economy grew at brisk 3.5 pct. annual rate last quarter

US economy grew at brisk 3.5 pct. annual rate last quarter
FILE- In this Jan. 30, 2018, file photo a rubber tire gantry moves into position to transfer shipping containers at the Georgia Ports Authority's Port of Savannah in Savannah, Ga. On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the Commerce Department issues the final estimate of how the U.S. economy performed in the July-September quarter. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a solid 3.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, led by lower but still strong consumer spending and more business investment than previously estimated.

The Commerce Department’s figure for gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation’s output of goods and services, was the same as its first estimate last month. Greater corporate investment offset downward revisions in spending by state and local governments and consumers.

The third quarter figure follows a robust expansion of 4.2 percent in the April-June quarter. Six months of healthy growth have put the U.S. economy on track to expand in 2018 at its fastest pace in 13 years. Still, economists forecast that growth will slow in the fourth quarter and decelerate further next year.