WASHINGTON – The U.S. economy grew at a 2.9 percent rate in the July-September quarter, the strongest pace in two years, as the battered export sector rebounded and businesses finally began restocking their shelves at a faster clip.
The Commerce Department says the increase in the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, was double the 1.4 percent pace in the second quarter.
GDP growth went into a pronounced slowdown late last year. Exporters were constrained by a rising dollar, which made their products more expensive on overseas markets, and businesses cut back on their inventory rebuilding in the face of weaker sales.
With the dollar stabilizing, export sales rebounded in the summer and businesses picked up the pace of inventory building. Solid growth is also expected this quarter.