The economy slowed less than expected in the third quarter, with gross domestic product increasing at a 3.5 percent annualized rate. That’s down from a 4.2 percent annualized growth rate in the second quarter, but still exceeding the estimated growth potential of a 2 percent annualized rate. Reuters reports that a tariff-related drop in soybean exports to China was somewhat offset by the strongest consumer spending in nearly four years and a boost in inventory investment. Economic expansion is in its ninth year—the second longest on record. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast GDP expanding at a 3.3 percent annualized pace in the third quarter.