The U.S. economy grew at a faster rate in the third quarter than most analysts expected, government data showed Wednesday. Real gross domestic product, which is the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the U.S., increased at an annual rate of 3.9% in the quarter, according to advance estimates released by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. On average, analysts were anticipating a 3.1% growth pace, Bloomberg reported. In the second quarter, real GDP rose 3.8%. The figure is the first of three that will ultimately be released on the third quarter. Revisions are not uncommon. The second pass, the so-called preliminary estimates, will be available Nov. 29. The government said the pickup in GDP reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, exports, federal government spending, equipment and software, nonresidential structures, private inventory investment, and state and local government spending. Providing a drag on growth were residential fixed investment and a higher level of imports. The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, was up 1.6% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 3.8% in the second. Real personal consumption expenditures were up 3%, more than twice the 1.4% increase in the prior quarter. Current-dollar GDP, the market value of the nation's output of goods and services, climbed 4.7%, or $157.9 billion, to $13.93 trillion.