Wall Street Journal staffer Harriet Torry reports the tale of the tape as the Commerce Department released word Tuesday that the gross domestic product advanced at a 2.1% seasonally adjusted annual rate, up from the initial estimate of 1.5% growth.
Evidently, Torry notes, businesses stocked up on more goods, suggesting the economy remains on track to close out the year with modest but unspectacular growth. Her five bullet points include inventory activity, foreign trade, corporate profitability, business investment, and consumer behavior (which accounts for the lion's share of GDP). Torry writes:
The fourth quarter could hold more promise: U.S. consumer confidence rose for the second straight month in November, offering hope for retailers as they head into the holiday season, according to the recent University of Michigan preliminary November sentiment index. Consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of overall economic output in the U.S., and retailers are hoping continued low gasoline prices and a robust job market will propel shoppers into their stores.