Oil rose above $73 a barrel on Friday, lifted by slightly better GDP and jobs data out of the United States, although still rangebound over the week.

U.S. crude for October gained 68 cents to $73.17 a barrel by 1102 GMT (7:02 a.m. EDT). London Brent rose 57 cents to $73.08.

Data on Thursday showed the U.S. economy shrank slightly less than expected in the second quarter, despite a record drop in inventories, and fewer workers filed new claims for jobless benefits last week, a sign the economy was starting to heal..

Things were up a bit last night partly on a weaker dollar, partly on the stock market. But we've been at these levels before, and it's really only at $75 that there's any resistance, said Christopher Bellew, a broker at Bache Commodities.

The dollar rose against a basket of major currencies, recovering somewhat from overnight losses, while the commodity-related Australian dollar edged higher against the yen.

Some analysts said stronger economic data in the short-term could not overcome a gloomier long-term outlook.

Despite our confidence in the recovery process over the next six months, there is precious little indication from the energy side that industrial activity in the U.S. is recovering, analysts at J.P. Morgan wrote in their Oil Markets Weekly note.

Gasoline demand remains weak (and may even be declining), jet-fuel has troughed at a low level, and the middle distillate market remains on a disturbingly aggressive downward path.

Unsold crude stored in tankers at sea continued to hang over the oil market but had declined since the spring.

Norway's Frontline, the world's biggest independent oil tanker shipping group, said it estimated that 40 to 45 very large crude carriers (VLCCs), or around 10 percent of the world fleet, were storing crude oil.

Frontline had told Reuters on August 6 that around 50 VLCCs were being used to store around 100 million barrels of oil, down from a peak of around 60 VLCCs in April.

(Additional reporting by Ramthan Hussain in Singapore, editing by Keiron Henderson)