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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Economy Surges

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy surged ahead at a much faster pace than previously thought this fall, powered by rising inventories, vigorous consumption and an improved trade performance, the government said Wednesday.

The nation's gross domestic product rose at a steep 5.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, far higher than the 4.8 percent originally reported. That was above Wall Street economists' expectations for a 5 percent annual rate of growth in the July-September period and the strongest growth rate since a 5.9 percent surge in the final three months of last year.

But despite such strong growth in GDP, which measures total goods and services produced within U.S. borders, prices remained muted, the Commerce Department noted in its report. Adding to the picture of red-hot growth in the world's biggest economy was a steep downward revision in imports, which the report said grew 14.6 percent in the third quarter instead of the 17.2 percent previously estimated.