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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy expanded at a slightly faster 2 percent annual rate from July through September, buoyed by an uptick in consumer spending and a burst of government spending.
Growth improved from the 1.3 percent rate in the April-June quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday.
The pickup in growth may help President Barack Obama's message that the economy is improving.
By contrast, in the three election years when Americans were less upbeat than they are today about their finances -- 1976 (33% felt better off), 1980 (30%), and 1992 (34%) -- the incumbent presidents were defeated.