US economic growth still sluggish US growth picks up but consumer spending 4 weeks ago   00:31

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http://www.euronews.com/ The latest official figures confirm US economic expansion was sluggish in the final three months of last year.

The Commerce Department's third and final estimate of fourth-quarter GDP showed a 0.4 percent annual growth rate.

Economists had predicted it would be slightly better, at 0.5 percent.

The latest calculation was higher than the government's previous estimate of a 0.1 percent growth rate.

There was a big gain in business investment and higher exports of services, but growth was the slowest since the first quarter of 2011 and far from what is needed to continue to cut the US unemployment rate.

Recent data has shown the economy gathering strength. Retail sales have been stronger than expected, manufacturing output has picked up and employment growth has quickened, with the jobless rate dropping to 7.7 percent last month from 7.9 percent in January.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but probably not enough to suggest the labour market recovery was taking a step back.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 16,000, to a seasonally adjusted 357,000. Despite the gain, they were in the middle of their range for this year.

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US growth picks up but consumer spending US economic growth still sluggish 4 weeks ago   00:46

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The US economy grew faster than expected between July and September.

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http://www.euronews.com/2013/11/07/us-growth-picks-up-but-consumer-spending-still-weak
The US economy grew faster than expected between July and September.

Gross domestic product expanded by 2.8 percent from the same period a year earlier. That was better than the 2.5 percent in the second quarter.

GDP was boosted by companies rebuilding their inventories, but business spending slowed, as did consumer spending - which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity.

Consumer spending expanded 1.5 percent, the slowest pace since the second quarter of 2011. It grew 1.8 percent in the April-June period.

Americans are wary of buying given the current jobs situation as the uncertain economic outlook means businesses are cautious about hiring.

The underlying economic weakness explains the Federal Reserve's decision to stick with its stimulus programme.

It is expected to keep buying 85 billion dollars worth of bonds each month for at least the rest of this year - in order to keep interest rates low.


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