US economic growth slowed less than expected in the third quarter as declining business investment was offset by resilient consumer spending and a rebound in exports.

The figures could further allay financial market fears of a recession. 

The Commerce Department's report will, however, unlikely discourage the Federal Reserve from cutting interest rates again amid lingering threats to the longest expansion on record from uncertainty over trade policy, slowing global growth and Britain's departure from the European Union.

The Trump administration's trade war with China has eroded business confidence, contributing to the second quarterly contraction in business investment in a row. 

The fading stimulus from last year's $1.5 trillion tax cut package is also casting a shadow on the expansion, now in its 11th year. 

The GDP report was published hours before Fed officials wrapped-up a two-day policy meeting. 

The Fed is expected to cut interest rates for the third time later this evening. It cut rates in September after reducing borrowing costs in July for the first time since 2008. 

US gross domestic product increased at a 1.9% annualised rate in the third quarter, also as businesses maintained a steady pace of inventory accumulation and the housing market rebounded after contracting for six straight quarters, the government said in its advance estimate of GDP.

The economy grew at a 2% pace in the three months from April to June. 

Economists estimate the speed at which the economy can grow over a long period without igniting inflation at between 1.7% and 2%. 

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast GDP increasing at a 1.6% rate in the July-September quarter. 

Despite last quarter's better-than-expected performance, the economy is expected to again miss the White House's ambitious goal of 3% annual growth this year. It grew by 2.9% last year. 

While President Donald Trump this month announced a truce in the trade war with China, delaying additional tariffs that were due in October, economists say growth remains in danger without all duties being rolled back. 

A Trump administration official said yesterday that the interim trade agreement might not be ready for signing in Chile next month as expected.