American economic growth quickened in the third quarter, according to figures issued Thursday by the Commerce Department, but failed to meet expectations.

The economy grew 3.1% in Q3, driven by raised consumer spending (not least on automobiles) and a slowdown in imports. Such expansion is well above the second quarter’s 1.3%, but below forecasts of 3.5% to 4%.

The Q3 rate was blasted as “not good enough” by Commerce Secretary Don Evans, who added that the recovery is still “uneven”.

However, the omens are not good for the fourth quarter, as consumer spending looks to be slowing and confidence falling.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff