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Economy shows resilience

WASHINGTON (AP)  Powered by businesses and consumers, the U.S. economy grew at a solid 3 percent annual pace last quarter despite two devastating hurricanes  evidence of economic durability and all but assuring that the Federal Reserve will resume raising interest rates late this year. 

Friday's figures from the government marked the first time in three years that the economy has expanded at a 3 percent or more annual rate  historically, a normal pace for a healthy economy  for two straight quarters. 

More than eight years since the Great Recession officially ended, the economy is still posting consistent gains  in the job market, in business investment, in consumer spending and corporate earnings. Unemployment is at a 16-year low. Companies are restocking. An improving global economy is boosting U.S. exports. Stock prices are rising in tandem with company profits.

The 3 percent annual growth for the July-September quarter in gross domestic product  the total output of goods and services produced in the United States  followed a 3.1 percent annual pace in the previous quarter. It was the strongest two-quarter showing since 2014.

The economy managed to expand at a healthy rate last quarter despite the damage inflicted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which many economists think shaved at least one-half of 1 percentage point off annual growth in the July-September period.

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