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Later this month, the government will release the advance estimate of 3Q11 GDP growth. There are uncertainties in that estimate – inventories and foreign trade make up a relatively small part of the economy, but account for much of the quarterly variation in GDP growth. We already have a good idea regarding the “meat and potatoes” of that report. Consumer spending and business fixed investment expanded further in the third quarter, suggesting no recession in the near term. However, the economic outlook for 2012 is a lot less clear.