WASHINGTON – U.S. economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter and economists are looking for an even weaker showing in the first quarter as severe winter weather takes a toll on the economy.
But the slowdown is expected to be short-lived. Stronger growth is expected for the rest of the year as a recovering job market supports healthy gains in consumer spending.
The Commerce Department says the overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the October-December period, an estimate that was unchanged from a month ago. The economy had surged at a 5 percent rate in the third quarter.
The final look at fourth quarter GDP found consumer spending was stronger than previously estimated but business restocking was weaker.