WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy slowed to a modest annual rate of 2.1% in the July-September quarter according to the government’s second read of the data, slightly better than its first estimate.

But economists are predicting a solid rebound in the current quarter as long as rising inflation and a recent uptick in COVID cases do not derail activity.

The increase in the gross domestic product, the economy’s total output of goods and services, is up from an initial estimate of 2% for the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

But the revision was still well below the solid gains of 6.3% in the first quarter this year and 6.7% in the second.

The small increase from the initial GDP estimate a month ago reflected a slightly better performance for consumer spending, which grew at a still lackluster 1.7% rate in the third quarter, compared to a 12% surge in the April-June quarter.

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