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US Economy Grew 3.1% in Third Quarter

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The economy grew faster than expected during the summer quarter at an annual growth rate of 3.1 percent.

"It basically shows in the third quarter the economy picked up to a decent rate of growth," said Michael Santoli of Yahoo! Finance.

If that pace could be sustained it would be enough to lift consumers spirits and bring down the unemployment rate. But economists say uncertainty about the fiscal cliff and the impact of superstorm Sandy on the east and Midwest could make growth in the fourth quarter about half the third quarter rate.

"The fourth quarter's going to be slower," Santoli said. "But at this point the upward revision to third quarter means that 2012, on the whole, kind of was a continuation of this slow and steady pace of economic growth."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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