Economy Continues to Chug Along

Despite worries over credit and the housing market, the economy grew at a better than expected rate of 3.9% in the 3rd quarter:The 3.9 percent annual growth rate compared with 3.8 percent in the second quarter and 0.6 percent in the first quarter. The report from the Commerce Department is a preliminary estimate of gross domestic product in July through September, a volatile period that included the bleakest moments of the summer’s subprime mortgage collapse. The growth rate, which beat most analysts’ expectations, adds a new wrinkle to the Fed’s deliberations at today’s meeting. The central bank is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point in response to widespread concerns about the lagging housing market and a credit squeeze. But today’s G.D.P. report presents a more cheerful view of the economy. The growth rate was the fastest since the first quarter of 2006. Consumer spending expanded at more than twice its rate in the second...(Read Full Post)