ECONOMY

US economy grew at weak 1.9 percent rate in 4th quarter

The U.S. economy grew at an anemic 1.9 percent rate in the fourth quarter, unchanged from an initial estimate, although consumers performed better than first thought.

The Commerce Department says that the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the October-December quarter. That is a significant slowdown from 3.5 percent growth recorded in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter figure was unchanged from the first estimate a month ago, although some of the components were revised. The government found that consumer spending grew at a faster rate. But spending by state and local governments and businesses equipment purchases were weaker than first thought.

Growth for 2016 overall was just 1.6 percent, the poorest showing in five years.