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Washington (AFP) – U.S. growth surged to its highest level in 11 years in the third quarter, according to an updated government estimate released Tuesday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) increased five percent between July and September in the Commerce Department’s third estimate for the period, up from the 3.9 percent previously estimated.

Analysts had expected growth of 4.3 percent.

Tuesday’s figures built on the momentum from the second quarter, when growth came in at 4.6 percent.

The U.S. economy contracted 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014, a weak result mainly attributed to the abnormally cold winter, but has since recovered strongly.

Spending for consumption rose 3.2 percent, the biggest jump since the end of 2013. Consumption of goods rose 4.7 percent, while spending on services gained 2.5 percent.

The updated figures come on the heels of a strong November jobs report, which showed the U.S. economy adding 321,000 jobs.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen last week said the U.S. economy is improving steadily, but said the labor market still needs to strengthen and signaled that interest rates would remain low for months.

AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Participants hold placards as they mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Washington D.C. on January 17, 2022

Washington (AFP) - Members of Martin Luther King Jr's family joined marchers Monday in Washington urging Congress to pass voting rights reform as the United States marked the holiday commemorating the slain civil rights leader.

King's son Martin Luther King III spoke at the march, warning that many states "have passed laws that make it harder to vote" more than half a century after the activism of his father.

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