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Real GDP growth slowed to 3.4 percent in the third quarter, from 4.2 percent in the second quarter, according to gross domestic product (GDP) by industry statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Wholesale trade, information, and finance and insurance were the leading contributors to the increase in U.S. economic growth in the third quarter of 2018. 19 of 22 industry groups contributed to the overall 3.4 percent increase in real GDP in the third quarter.
For the wholesale trade industry group, real value added—a measure of an industry’s contribution to GDP—increased 7.4 percent in the third quarter, after increasing 2.6 percent in the second quarter.
Information services increased 7.6 percent, after increasing 13.4 percent. The third quarter growth reflected increases to publishing industries; data processing, internet publishing, and other information services; and broadcasting and telecommunications.
Finance and insurance increased 5.5 percent, after decreasing 2 percent. The third quarter growth primarily reflected an increase in Federal Reserve banks, credit intermediation, and related activities.
Real estate and rental and leasing was the leading contributor to the deceleration in real GDP growth in the third quarter. Real value added for the industry group increased 1.4 percent, after increasing 5.3 percent in the second quarter.
Professional, scientific, and technical services increased 4.2 percent, after increasing 9.3 percent, and was the second leading contributor to the slowdown. The deceleration was primarily attributed to a slowdown in miscellaneous professional, scientific, and technical services, which includes industries like advertising, research and development, and engineering services.
Utilities decreased 4.8 percent, after increasing 19.1 percent. This industry includes electric power generation, transmission, and distribution; natural gas distribution; and water, sewage and other systems.