Updated at 4:39 p.m. ET
The economy expanded at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. That's slower than the second quarter's blockbuster 4.2 percent, but it puts the economy on pace for the fastest annual growth in 13 years.
Private analysts had estimated a 3.4 percent growth rate in gross domestic product for the third quarter.
Consumer spending jumped at a 4 percent rate in the July-September quarter — the fastest in about four years and topping the 3.8 percent in the prior three months.