At a Ford plant in Michigan, workers load a battery into a Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle. The economy picked up speed in the third quarter. Economists caution, though, that it may slow in coming quarters. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images hide caption itoggle caption Bill Pugliano/Getty Images The Two-Way Economy Looks Better, At Least In Rearview Mirror December 20, 2013 Growth was stronger than thought in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says. It now estimates that gross domestic product grew at a 4.1 percent annual rate. That's the best pace since late 2011.