WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. economic growth picked up the pace to 2.5 percent in the third quarter this year, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
The growth rate of the real gross domestic product (GDP) in the June-September period was the best quarterly performance since the start of this year, a welcome relief for the world's largest economy, which was on the brink of recession for the first half of the year.
The growth pace was in line with economists' expectations and was a big acceleration from the revised 1.3 percent growth rate in the second quarter.
Stronger personal household consumption and business investment contributed to the uptick in the third quarter.
Real personal consumption expenditures rose 2.4 percent, a big improvement from a 0.7 percent growth in the second quarter.
Real nonresidential fixed investment rose 16.3 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 10.3 percent in the second quarter.
Rising exports also helped pump up the economic expansion, with real exports of goods and services up 4 percent, compared with an increase of 3.6 percent in the second quarter.
However, economists said the higher growth was still not robust enough to make a significant dent in the high unemployment rate, currently at 9.1 percent.
The Commerce Department is scheduled to release the second estimate of the third-quarter GDP figures on Nov. 22.