The U.S. economy grew by nearly 2 percent between July and October -- slower than the first two quarters of 2019, but better than expected, the Commerce Department said in its quarterly report Wednesday.
Government figures showed 1.9 percent growth for the quarter -- a slight dip from economic expansions of 3.2 and 2.1 percent in the first two, respectively.
Despite the slower pace, the Q3 performance topped most analysts' projections of about 1.6 percent. Better-than-expected consumer spending was a significant factor, the department said.
"The increase in real GDP in the third quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, federal government spending, residential fixed investment, state and local government spending and exports that were partly offset by negative contributions from nonresidential fixed investment and private inventory investment," the report states.
Personal spending increased by nearly 3 percent, and government spending 2 percent.
Meanwhile, disposable personal income grew $182 billion, compared to $193 billion last quarter -- and personal savings amounted to $1.3 trillion.
The International Monetary Fund this month cut its growth outlook for the rest of 2019 to the lowest level in a decade. It projects U.S. growth of 3 percent for the rest of the year.
Wednesday's report was released hours ahead of an expected interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve. A labor estimate by ADP and Moody's said the United States added 125,000 jobs this month. The official Labor Department figures will be posted Friday.