Economy grew brisk 3% in Q3 despite hurricanes

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Even two devastating hurricanes can’t hold down the resurgent U.S. economy.

While Hurricanes Harvey and Irma dampened housing construction, the economy grew briskly in the third quarter as consumer spendingpicked up the slack.

The nation’s gross domestic product — the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. — increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3%, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists expected 2.5% growth.

The storms no doubt curtailed the gains. Economists expected the hurricanes to shave at least a half a percentage point off growth in the July-September period. But the 3% pace still soundly exceeds the tepid 2.2% average for the eight-year-old recovery. And economists are forecasting an offsetting increase in output in the fourth quarter as construction crews repair hurricane-related damage and consumers make purchases they deferred because of the storms.

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