U.S. economy grew at a better pace than expected

us economy housing

The U.S. economy got some good news Tuesday.

The economy grew by 2.1% between July and September, according to the Commerce Department. That's better than its first estimate of 1.5%.

The revision is a sign that the economy is weathering the global economic slowdown better than some had previously expected. It also comes just weeks after the best report on jobs growth of the year in October.

The improved figure is another indication the U.S. consumer -- the main engine of economic growth -- has shown resiliency this year.

Overall, U.S. retail sales were up a bit in October even though there's been mixed signs about consumer spending recently. Big retailers like Nordstrom (JWN) and Walmart (WMT) have warned they are not expecting great holiday sales.

Yet home improvement companies like Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) have seen a healthy increase in big-ticket purchases for things like roofs and kitchen counter tops.

The fear was that the global economic slowdown and strong U.S. dollar were weighing down U.S. trade and exports.

Those headwinds are still present but they may be abating going into 2016.

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