Third-quarter GDP growth revised down to 3.4 percent

The Department of Commerce revised third-quarter economic growth to 3.4 percent in its final estimate, down from its previous estimate of 3.5 percent.
 
The downward revision came from lower estimates of personal consumption and exports, even as private inventory investment was revised up.
 
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The still-healthy growth rate fell from a recent high of 4.2 percent in the second quarter, but economists expect growth to continue shrinking as the stimulus from the GOP tax plan runs out.
 
The Federal Reserve this week forecast that the economy would grow at an overall rate of 3 percent for 2018, and then decelerate to 2.3 percent next year.
 
Other economic crystal balls have become gloomier as well. Stock markets, initially buoyant at the prospect of tax cuts and deregulation in a GOP-controlled government, halted their steady increase in January and entered a period of wild volatility.
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank to a 14-month low this week, and could close out the year lower than it opened for the first time since the financial crisis began in 2008.