Ford Dearborn Assembly Plant

Ford F-150s move along the production line at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich., on Nov. 11. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

By Jim Puzzanghera
November 25, 2014

The economy grew faster in the third quarter than initially thought, expanding at a solid 3.9% annual rate, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

The figure was unexpectedly better than the 3.5% annual rate the government reported in its first estimate last month.

Economists had forecast the growth rate would be revised down to 3.3%.

The Commerce Department produces three estimates of total economic output, also known as gross domestic product, for each quarter.

Third-quarter growth still was down from the 4.6% pace in the second quarter, but the decline was expected as much of the spring activity came from pent-up demand after the economy sharply contracted during a winter marked by severe weather.

Stronger consumer spending was a key factor in the upward revision of third-quarter growth, the Commerce Department said.

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