The nation's weak economic recovery continued in the third quarter of 2012, with the growth rate reaching a sluggish 2%--largely fueled by a "burst" of government spending, according to news agencies.
The growth rate was a modest improvement on the 1.3% expansion of gross domestic product achieved in the second quarter, and surpassed market expectations, which had been low.
The 2% rate may yet be revised; last month the rate for the second quarter was revised downward from 1.7% to 1.3%.
GDP growth for the past year remains stuck at an average of 1.74 percent, below last year's average of 1.8%.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has repeatedly criticized President Barack Obama's economic performance, pointing out that the growth rates for 2012 are lower than those for 2011.
He will likely use the new GDP growth figure to make that point again today in a highly anticipated economic speech in Iowa.