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Third-quarter growth revised down on healthcare

Reuters, December 23, 2011

Economic growth was slower than previously estimated in the third quarter on a sharp drop in healthcare spending, but stronger business investment and a fall in inventories pointed to a pickup in output in the current period. Gross domestic product grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said in its final estimate on Thursday, down from the previously estimated 2 percent. Economists had expected growth to be unrevised at 2 percent. Though spending on healthcare dropped by $2.2 billion, spending on durable goods was stronger than previously estimated, indicating household appetite to consume remains healthy.