U.S. GDP Expands 2.6% in Third Quarter, Faster Than Expected; Bitcoin Steady

After two consecutive months of contraction, the U.S. economy rose in the third quarter – a sign that activity remains robust despite the Federal Reserve's aggressive push this year to raise borrowing costs.

The nation’s gross domestic product, or GDP, rose 2.6% in the July-September period, according to a fresh report by the Commerce Department. Economists at FactSet had predicted a growth rate of 2%.

GDP contracted by 1.6% in the first quarter and 0.6% in the second quarter, prompting speculation as to whether the economy had entered a recession.

Bitcoin was steady in the moments after the report was released, around $20,690.

While the positive number is a good sign, suggesting that activity is expanding even as costs as wages rise, it also might show that the economy can withstand further interest rate increases by the Fed.

And for most of this year, the U.S. central bank's aggressive campaign to tamp down inflation – close to a four-decade high – has weighed on valuations for risky assets, from stocks to cryptocurrencies.