Real GDP grew 3.5% in the third quarter, according to the advance estimate released by the BEA.
A big piece of the growth came from net exports (exports minus imports). Exports rose by 7.8% and imports fell by 2.4%. Since net exports makes up a very small piece of total GDP, this contributed 1.3% to real GDP growth, but this is more than a third of the total growth in the third quarter.
Here is a complete breakdown in the growth contribution from each of the four major components:
Overall, 3.5% is a solid growth rate, assuming this estimate holds up through revisions over the next three months. However, it is slower that the growth experienced in the second quarter, which was 4.6 percent. One big difference between the last two quarters is in investment which contributed just 0.2% to third quarter growth but contributed 2.9% in the second quarter.