US consumers seen lifting GDP
The stronger pace of expansion, however, is still expected to fall short of what is needed to make much of a dent in unemployment, and will offer little cheer for the White House ahead of the closely contested Nov. 6 presidential election.
Gross domestic product probably expanded at a 1.9 percent annual rate, according to a Reuters survey of economists, accelerating from the second quarter's 1.3 percent pace. A pace in excess of 2.5 percent would be needed over several quarters to make substantial headway cutting the jobless rate.
Two percent growth is still significantly weaker than what would be necessary to make and sustain a successful transition to a more self-sustaining recovery, said Millan Mulraine, senior economist at TD Securities in New York.
The Commerce Department will release the third-quarter GDP report at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) on Friday, a little more than a week before the election in which President Barack Obama is trying to fend off Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Since climbing out of the 2007-09 recession, the economy faced a series of headwinds from high gasoline prices to the debt turmoil in Europe and, lately, fears of U.S. government austerity. It has struggled to exceed a 2 percent growth pace and remains about 4.5 million jobs short of where it stood when the downturn started.
Consumers appear, however, to
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