The economic rebound means the U.S. recovered significant ground following the record-breaking collapse of output due to lockdowns intended to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Despite the third-quarter gains, the economy is still 3.5 percent smaller than it was as the year began.
Economists had expected the economy to grow 30.9 percent, according to Econoday. Some economists, however, had been expecting a bigger expansion following the release this week of positive data in recent news on durable good data and international trade. The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow had third-quarter growth at 37 percent.
The third-quarter GDP gain was fueled by a record 40.7 percent increase in consumer spending. Business investment surged 20.3 percent during the quarter, reflecting a 70.1 percent jump in investment in equipment. The housing market is booming: residential investment grew at a rate of 59.3 percent.