The U.S. economy grew modestly over the summer after nearly stalling in the first six months of the year, lifted by stronger consumer spending and greater business investment.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.5 per cent in the July-September quarter. That's nearly double the 1.3 per cent growth in the April-June quarter, and a vast improvement over the 0.9 per cent growth for the entire first half of the year.

While 2.5 per cent growth is enough to ease recession fears, it is far below what is needed to lower painfully high unemployment. — AFP