The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace during the third quarter of this year, which is an indication of the economic recovery, official data showed here Thursday. The Department of Commerce showed in a report that gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the third quarter of 2013, compared to a 2.5 percent increase in the second quarter. The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected "positive" contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, exports and state and local government spending "that were partly offset by a negative contribution from federal government spending. " Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, also increased. The acceleration in real GDP growth in the third quarter "primarily reflected a deceleration in imports and accelerations in private inventory investment and in state and local government spending." The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.8 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent in the second. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 0.8 percent in the second. In this regard, Jason Furman, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers said that "during the third quarter, the economy grew at its fastest pace in a year, an indication that the recovery was continuing to gain traction in the months before the government shutdown." "We now have an opportunity to build on this progress by increasing certainty for businesses and investing in jobs and growth, while avoiding the types of self-inflicted wounds that restrained the economy in the early part of the fourth quarter," he stressed.