GDP Expands Briskly In 3Q

It reports GDP expanded at an annual rate of 3.9 percent, the strongest in one and a-half years, despite the credit crunch and housing market slump.
The expansion benefited from increased consumer spending. U.S. businesses were selling more goods abroad and boosted investment at home.
The growth rate was stronger than expected. But the housing meltdown was also reflected in the report, with builders dramatically slashing investment in housing projects.
An inflation gauge shows "core" prices -- excluding food and energy -- rose at a rate of 1.8 percent in the third quarter. That's seen within the comfort zone of the Federal Reserve, which is expected to cut interest rates later today.

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