The U.S. economy resumed growing in the third quarter after a year of decline as consumers spent more and investment in home-building bounced back to end the worst recession in 70 years, a Reuters survey of economists predicts.

The poll of 77 economists forecast real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a 3.3 percent annualized rate after shrinking 0.7 percent in the second quarter. It would be the first expansion since the second quarter of 2008.

The Commerce Department will release its first, or advance, estimate of third-quarter GDP on Thursday.

With the growth expectation priced-in by U.S. financial markets, analysts said investors would scrutinize details of the report, especially inventories, consumer spending and residential investment for clues on the fourth quarter.

Consumer spending, which normally accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, is expected to have grown at an annual rate of at least 3 percent in the third quarter after slipping 0.9 percent in the prior quarter.

After four straight quarters of decline, the economy is also expected to have received a boost from a sharp recovery in residential investment, with much of it driven by the government's $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers.