US economy grew a record 33.1% annual rate last quarter but the pandemic remains an enormous threat

US economy grew a record 33.1% annual rate last quarter but the pandemic remains an enormous threat
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The third quarter, however, was one for the record books. Gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic activity — grew at an annualized and seasonally adjusted rate of 33.1% between July and September.

The government reports GDP as an annualized rate, which assumes that the growth rate from one quarter to another will continue for a full year. This practice makes it easier to compare data over time.

But with the unprecedented economic woes of the pandemic, some economists suggest actual GDP growth is the better metric to tell the story of America’s economy.

Looking at the quarterly data alone, GDP grew 7.4% from the second to the third quarter, compared with a 9% decline between the first and second quarter.

The rapid growth reflects the restarting of the economy after the…



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