The U.S. economy cooled off in the third quarter as companies cut back production to prevent a worrisome buildup in inventories, particularly of goods destined for foreign markets. Gross domestic product -- the value of everything a nation produces -- rose at a 1.5% annual pace from July through September, the government said Thursday.
The 1.5% growth, which is exactly what was expected going into this morning's announcement, is lower than the growth seen in the second quarter (April through June), but better than the first quarter (January through March).
The Marketwatch report added that consumer spending is bolstering the economy -- it rose "at a 3.2% annual pace following an even larger gain in the second quarter" -- and consumers overall are "more confident than at any time since the end of the recession in 2009."
What's more, signs point to stronger growth, perhaps around 2.5%, in final quarter of 2015.
As for the image above, the chart shows GDP numbers by quarter since the Great Recession began. The red columns show the economy under the Bush administration; the blue columns show the economy under the Obama administration.