US says GNP grew 1.5% in the third quarter

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The Commerce Department estimated that the nation's gross national product, although weakened by recession, grew 1.5 percent in the third quarter, after a revised 2.1 percent second-quarter growth.

Both the current-quarter estimate and last quarter's figures were stronger than expected by most leading private forecasters. But the figures may not be strong enough to prove the recession is actually fading away.

The revisions also strengthened the government's measure of corporate profits , after taxes.

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