U.S. ECONOMIC GROWTH PICKS UP IN THE THIRD QUARTER
The U.S. Commerce Department said the economy grew 2 percent in the third quarter, faster than analysts predicted. An increase in consumer purchases, gains in homebuilding and a jump in U.S. public spending, principally defense, all contributed to the acceleration of the economic expansion. The report along with the news that a Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final consumer sentiment index climbed to a five-year high in October, showing renewed optimism ahead of the presidential election. Consumer spending represents about 70 percent of the U.S. economy, and added 1.4 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP). Meanwhile, defense outlays jumped 9.4 percent, the most in over two years, while public spending grew 3.7 percent, the most in three years. Corporate spending, however, stayed flat.
The United States is by far the biggest exporter of weapons. And business has never been better. In 2011, the U.S. moved a cool $66 billion worth of weapons. That’s three times the amount the country sold the year before, and $62 billion more than the world’s second biggest arms exporter.