WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3 percent in the third quarter of the year, slightly lower than the 3.1 percent in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
The deceleration primarily reflected drops in personal consumption expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment and exports, the department said in a statement.
Personal consumption expenditures, which account for about two-thirds of the U.S. economy, increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the third quarter, lower than the second quarter's 3.3 percent.
Nonresidential fixed investment, a measure of corporate spending on structures and equipment, grew 3.9 percent, down from 6.7 percent in the previous quarter.
Exports rose 2.3 percent from July to September, while imports fell 0.8 percent, which led to a smaller trade deficit, adding 0.41 percentage point to growth in the third quarter.
Economists had expected that U.S. economic growth would slow down to 2.5 percent in the third quarter due to disruptions caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma along the Gulf Coast.
The Commerce Department said preliminary estimates showed that the two hurricanes resulted in disaster losses of 121 billion U.S. dollars in privately-owned fixed assets and 10.4 billion dollars in government-owned fixed assets. However, it was not possible to estimate the overall impact of the two hurricanes on the third-quarter gross domestic product.
Friday's report marked the first time the U.S. economy had expanded above 3 percent in back-to-back quarters since 2014.
While the Trump administration has vowed to accelerate annual U.S. economic growth to over 3 percent, the overall economy grew 2.1 percent in the first half of 2017.
The Federal Reserve last month estimated that the economy would grow at 2.4 percent in 2017 and 2.1 percent in 2018.