Jobless claims decline, U.S. economy grew 2.7% in third quarter

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The jobless claims can mostly be blamed on Sandy, but the economy is a straightforward "GOOD NEWS!"

NEW YORK (CNN Money) -- The U.S. economy grew faster than previously reported in the third quarter, as businesses built up their inventories and international trade was stronger than expected.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic health, grew at an annual rate of 2.7% from July to September, the Commerce Department said Thursday, faster than the 1.3% rate in the second quarter, and better than originally reported.

The Commerce Department estimates the quarterly GDP figures three times, and Thursday's data marks its second estimate. It had originally reported the economy grew 2% in the third quarter.

The upward revision came mainly from two areas: exports were stronger than expected, growing at a 1.1% annual rate, and businesses built up larger inventories of their products.

UPDATE via Fox Biz email alert:

U.S. Pending Home Sales Jump in October

Contracts to buy previously-owned homes rose 5.2% in October from September, a much bigger jump than the 0.8% expected, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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