U.S. Economy’s Growth Was Slower in Fourth Quarter

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from The New York Times,

The economy grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter of 2013 than first thought, weighed down by lackluster retail sales, inventory adjustments and a slightly less robust trade balance.

The Commerce Department said Friday it now estimates the economy grew by 2.4 percent in October, November and December, down from an initial estimate of 3.2 percent released on Jan. 30.

Economists had been expecting the government to revise the estimated rate of growth downward to 2.5 percent.

At 2.4 percent, the revised figure represents a substantial slowing from the pace of growth in the third quarter, 4.1 percent.

It is also well below the so-called breakout speed economists have been hoping to see the economy sustain for more than a quarter or two. Indeed, between 2010 and 2013, annual economic growth has averaged about 2.3 percent, strong enough to sustain corporate profits and stabilize many parts of the economy, but not fast enough to result in meaningful wage gains for most workers.

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