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US economy grew 3.5% in third quarter

The American flag flutters in the breeze before the US Capitol, cocooned in scaffolding, October 28, 2014US economic growth was robust in the third quarter, according to the first government estimate Thursday, appearing to underscore the Federal Reserve’s decision to end its asset-buying stimulus program. The world’s largest economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the July-September period as defense spending surged and exports climbed, narrowing the trade gap, the Commerce Department said. The economy contracted 2.1 percent in the first quarter largely due to severe winter weather. “Growth above three percent in four of the past five quarters is starting to look like a trend,” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics.

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