Economy Increasing Faster Than Predicted

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Last summer, the economy increased faster than first thought, benefiting from improved overseas sales of U.S. goods and stronger spending by U.S. shoppers.The economy expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, according to The Commerce Department. Initially estimated last month, that was better than the 2 percent pace.Advancing at a rate of just 1.7 percent, the increase in growth comes after the economy decreased in the spring. The economy would need to increase twice as fast as it did in the third quarter to make an impact in the 9.6 percent unemployment rate.In October, sales of previously owned homes decreased. Hard-to-get credit and high unemployment kept buyers away.Existing-home sales decreased 2.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted yearly rate of 4.43 million units, according to The National Association of Realtors.In October, sales were 38.9 percent below their peak of 7.25 million units set during the height of the housing boom in September 2005.For a home sold in October, the median price was $170,500, a 0.9 percent decrease from a year ago. Being the most in nearly four years, consumers increased their spending at a 2.8 percent pace in the third quarter. Consumers would need to spend more to have a significant change on the jobs market. For any given quarter, the government provides three estimates of gross domestic product. Gross domestic product measures the value of all services and goods produced within the U.S. Source: