As other developed countries continue to falter, the U.S. has once again maintained strong growth. The economy grew at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of this year, largely due to strong exports and defense spending. The growth comes after a second quarter which saw 4.6 percent growth. Both quarters showed a rebound from the first quarter, when the economy shrank 2.1 percent due to the rough winter weather. Economists expect the growth to continue into the fall because of the significant drop in gas prices.