The Commerce Department's final look at growth in the summer was up from a previous estimate of 3.6 percent. Four-fifths of the revision came from stronger consumer spending, primarily in the area of health care.
The 4.1 percent third quarter growth rate came after the economy expanded at a 2.5 percent rate in the second quarter. Much of the acceleration reflected a buildup in business stockpiles.
Economists believe growth has slowed to between 2 percent and 2.5 percent in the current quarter, in part because they believe inventory growth has slowed.