Exports fell 2.0 percent in the third quarter, the largest decline since the second quarter of 2009. Imports rose 0.4 percent, the fourth quarterly increase in a row. Non-farm business inventories increased $12.0 billion.
Residential investment declined 0.8 percent, as housing resale activity slowed considerably.
Household spending on goods and services advanced 0.9 percent, the fastest pace so far in 2012. Purchases of goods were up 0.8 percent, while services increased 1.1 percent.
Final domestic demand expanded 0.4 percent, following six quarters of similar gains.
The output of service industries increased 0.4 percent in the third quarter, while goods production declined 0.6 percent. The public sector as well as the finance and insurance, utilities, transportation and retail trade sectors were the main contributors to growth in the quarter. Mining and oil and gas extraction (-2.0 percent) and, to a much lesser extent, manufacturing and construction were the main sources of the decline.
Oil and gas extraction fell 1.4 percent as both crude oil and natural gas production declined. Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction fell 6.8 percent, as both drilling and rigging services declined. Mining excluding oil and gas extraction (-2.8 percent) was also down in the third quarter, as production declines at potash and at copper, nickel, lead and zinc mines offset increases in coal mining.
Expressed at an annualized rate, real GDP expanded 0.6 percent in the third quarter. By comparison, real GDP in the United States grew 2.7 percent in the third quarter.