U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 3.5% annual rate in the third quarter, beating economists' expectations but slower than Q2's 4.2% pace, the Commerce Department said Friday.

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Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The big picture: The economy is on track for its best performance since 2005.

  • Strong consumer spending and a pick-up in government spending were among the biggest contributors to GDP, while a downturn in exports took a bite out of growth.
  • For full-year GDP growth to come in above 3%, which would be a major win for President Trump, growth in the fourth quarter would need to hit 3.3%, according to Jason Furman, former Council of Economic Advisers Chairman in the Obama administration:

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Trump's new TikTok threat

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said twice Monday that the U.S. Treasury would need to get a portion of the sale price of TikTok, as a condition of regulatory approval.

Why it matters: This is akin to extortion — the sort of thing you'd expect to hear on a wiretap, not from the White House in front of reporters.

Ford names James Farley as new CEO amid ongoing turnaround effort

James Hackett, left, is retiring as Ford CEO. Jim Farley, right, takes over Oct. 1. Photo: Ford

Ford announced Tuesday that James Farley will take over as its next CEO, replacing James Hackett, 65, who is retiring after three years in the job.

Why it matters: It leaves Farley to complete the company's ongoing turnaround effort. The transition will be that much harder as the industry tries to navigate the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown which shuttered Ford plants for two months on the eve of some of its most important vehicle launches.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Watch the full "Axios on HBO" interview with President Trump

In this episode of “Axios on HBO”, President Trump discusses his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming election and much more with National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan.

The interview was filmed on Tuesday, July 28 and aired Monday, Aug. 3 on HBO.