Exports of goods advanced 2.7 percent after increasing 0.5 percent in the second quarter. Exports of services edged up 0.1 percent. Imports of goods and services decreased 0.7 percent, in tandem with weak domestic demand.
Household final consumption expenditure increased 0.4 percent in the third quarter, following a 0.6 percent gain in the second quarter. Consumption on goods rose 0.8 percent in the third quarter, driven by outlays on durable goods (+2.3 percent). Expenditure on services edged up 0.1 percent.
Business investment in residential structures grew 0.6 percent following a flat second quarter. The growth was driven by new construction (+3.2 percent), which offset declines in renovations (-1.6 percent) and ownership transfer costs (-0.7 percent).
Business gross fixed capital formation fell 0.8 percent, the third consecutive quarterly decline. Investment in non-residential structures and machinery and equipment declined 1.5 percent.
Businesses reduced their inventory accumulation to $0.6 billion in the third quarter after adding $5.3 billion in the second quarter. Businesses added $3.9 billion to non-farm inventories, compared with $9.2 billion in the previous quarter. Farm inventories were drawn down by $2.1 billion, the seventh consecutive quarterly decrease, as grain holdings were sold off.
Final consumption expenditure of the general governments sector decreased 0.4 percent in the third quarter, following a 0.4 percent increase in the second quarter. Declines occurred at all levels of government.