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Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy grew at a 1.9% annualized pace in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday — higher than the 1.6% economists expected.

Why it matters: The economy is still growing at a moderate clip, though the number marks a significant slowdown in growth from just the beginning of this year — when GDP jumped 3.1% — as the boost from President Trump's tax cuts fades and the U.S.-China trade war weighs on growth.

Between the lines: The U.S. consumer has been the saving grace of the U.S. economy in recent quarters as cautious businesses hold off on spending.

  • The report shows this trend is continuing, though the strength of the U.S. shopper faltered. Consumer spending grew at 2.9% annual rate in Q3, a slowdown from the 4.6% rate in Q2.
  • Meanwhile, business spending weighed on growth, as investments in things like buildings, equipment and software fell 3%.

The bottom line: Q3's GDP report shows a slowing but still healthy economy — bucking fears of an imminent recession for now.

  • Still, it’s the second-worst GDP read of the Trump presidency, and growth has tapered sequentially this year.
  • A further slowdown would mean one less economic indicator the president can lean on as the 2020 election gets underway.

Go deeper: Trump's economic shield against impeachment

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
58 mins ago - Economy & Business

Coronavirus surge is sinking consumer confidence

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies, CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rise in coronavirus cases in certain parts of the U.S. is stunting confidence across the country, a crop of new reports show.

Driving the news: After stalling during the previous two-week period, overall economic sentiment declined for the first time in two months, according to the Economic Sentiment Index, a biweekly survey from data firm CivicScience and Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS).

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.

The GOP's monstrous math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.

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