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U.S. economy barely grew, but rebound likely

10:08 PM, Feb. 28, 2013  |  Comments
US Economy Is Sluggish, Not Moribund
US Economy Is Sluggish, Not Moribund: GDP data show the US economy barely budged in the fourth quarter, but economists remain optimistic about the current quarter, despite looming spending cuts.
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The weakest quarter for the U.S. economy in nearly two years may end up being a temporary lull. Economists think growth has begun to pick up on the strength of a sustained housing recovery and a better job market.

The economy grew at an annual rate of just 0.1 percent from October from December, a government report Thursday showed. That's only slightly better than the Commerce Department's previous estimate that the economy shrank at a rate of 0.1 percent. And it's down from the 3.1 percent annual growth rate in the July-September quarter.

Economists said the weakness last quarter was caused by steep defense cuts and slower company restocking, which are volatile. Residential construction, consumer spending and business investment - core drivers of growth - all improved. Steady job growth will likely keep consumers spending, despite higher Social Security taxes that have cut into take-home pay.

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