US economy grew 3.2% in fourth quarter: government

Agence France-Presse

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The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the 2013 fourth quarter, a slightly better pace than expected

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WASHINGTON DC, USA – (UPDATED) The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the 2013 fourth quarter, slightly stronger than expected despite the partial government shutdown, official data released Thursday, January 30, showed.

Most analysts had penciled in 3.0 percent gross domestic product growth in the October-December quarter, following more robust growth of 4.1 percent in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said the fourth-quarter slowdown mainly reflected lower inventory investment, as well as a larger decrease in government spending, a downturn in housing investment and weaker business investment.

Offsetting those restraints were pick-ups in net exports and consumer spending.

The full effects of the October 1-16 federal government shutdown, which furloughed thousands of workers, “could not be quantified,” the Commerce Department said.

However, it said, it estimated the effects of the reduction in hours worked by federal employees as trimming 0.3 percent point off GDP growth. – Rappler.com

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