WASHINGTON — The third revision to U.S. Q3 GDP was shocking in its intensity a 0.5-point upward revision, a gain seen only a handful of times and when normally this far along in the estimating process any revision is less than half that — and better reconciles GDP data with faster payrolls growth at around 200,000 jobs a month. But the numbers still show massive inventory build-up that could prove a problem unless late Christmas sales surge. 

The Q3 GDP revision was to 4.1% growth, the fastest pace since Q4:2011. As history showed, though, 2011 gave way to slow and sometimes seesawing growth for six additional quarters. This suggests the current GDP reading might not be a signal of an economic surge.

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