U.S. economic growth for the third quarter of 2023 hit 5.2% on an annual basis, outperforming the government’s expectation of 4.9% growth. This is a sharp rise from the 2.1% economic growth attained from April through June as well as the largest U.S. GDP growth at a quarterly rate over the past two years.
Consumer spending from July to September rose at an annual rate of 3.6%, with private investment surging by 10.5% annually while housing investment saw a 6.2% rise on a yearly basis, thereby defying a steep rise in mortgage rates. The economy was also bolstered by companies boosting their inventories in anticipation of rising sales.
Despite this positive economic growth, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development forecasted that the U.S. economy will grow by just 1.5% in 2024, down from the 2.4% expansion in 2023. This is particularly unexpected given that 2023 saw the Federal Reserve extend its steep interest rate rises, marking 11 increases since March 2022.