The U.S. economy grew at a record 33.1% annual rate in the July-September quarter but has yet to fully rebound from its plunge in the first half of the year — and the recovery is slowing as coronavirus cases surge and government aid dries up.
The Commerce Department’s estimate Thursday of third-quarter growth showed that the nation has regained only about two-thirds of the output that was lost early this year. The eruption of the virus closed businesses, threw tens of millions out of work and caused the deepest recession since the Great Depression.
On Thursday, the government also reported that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly last week to 751,000. That was the fewest weekly applications since March, but the level remains historically high and indicates that the viral pandemic is still forcing many employers to cut jobs.
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