The U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday the U.S. economy grew by 1.5 percent in the third quarter, down from 3.9 percent in the second quarter. Third-quarter growth in gross domestic product was fueled by personal consumption and state and local government spending. The number was in line with projections that ranged from 0.9 percent to 2.4 percent, according to economists polled by Bloomberg.
“The deceleration in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected a downturn in private inventory investment and decelerations in exports,” the department said in its quarterly statement.
The lackluster GDP figure indicates how the U.S. economy has handled a global downturn led by the slowest growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy, since 1990. Weak global demand adversely impacts U.S. exports while a strengthening dollar pummels U.S. corporate earnings made abroad in foreign currencies.