WASHINGTON—Although slightly less than originally anticipated, real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.2 percent for the third quarter of 2009, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The third-quarter growth rate was revised down 0.6 percentage point from the second estimate released in November. The largest downward revisions were to nonresidential fixed investment, to inventory investment, and to consumer spending for services.

“The third-quarter gain marked the start of an economic recovery after a very deep recession,” U.S. Commerce Under Secretary Rebecca Blank said. “Consumer spending, residential construction and imports and exports have all moved from declines into positive growth in the third quarter. Business nonresidential investment is lagging in other sectors, but recent data suggest that the economy is continuing its expansion in the fourth quarter. We won’t be satisfied until any American who wants work can find it, but strong fiscal and monetary actions have contributed to this upturn and will encourage further growth in the coming year.”

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