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US Economy Surged in Third Quarter - 2003-12-23

New figures show the American economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly two decades during the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday the gross domestic product, the country's broadest measure of economic health, climbed more than eight percent in the July to September period.

The increase, helped by strong consumer spending, was unchanged from a preliminary estimate last month. It is more than double the 3.1 percent growth in the second quarter.

The government also reported increases in consumer incomes and spending in November.

Last week, a series of economic reports indicated that continued growth may be ahead for the U.S. economy, which has been boosted by tax cuts and the lowest interest rates in 45 years.