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Economy grows at 5.7 pct pace, fastest since 2003

Posted on January 29, 2010
Filed Under Economics | Comments Off on Economy grows at 5.7 pct pace, fastest since 2003


By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber, Ap Economics Writer – 1 hr 31 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The economy grew faster than expected at the end of last year, though the engine of that growth — companies replenishing stockpiles — is likely to weaken as consumers keep a lid on spending.

The 5.7 percent annual growth rate in the fourth quarter was the fastest pace since 2003. The Commerce Department report Friday is the strongest evidence to date that the worst recession since the 1930s ended last year, though an academic panel that dates recessions has yet to declare an end to it.

The two straight quarters of growth followed a record four quarters of decline. Still, the expansion in the fourth quarter was fueled by companies refilling depleted stockpiles, a trend that will eventually fade. Some economists worry that when that happens, the recovery could

Growth exceeded expectations mainly because business spending on equipment and software jumped 13.3 percent — much more than forecast. It’s the second quarter in a row that business spending has increased, after six quarters of decline.

The report provided an upbeat end to an otherwise dismal year: The nation’s economy declined 2.4 percent in 2009, the largest drop since 1946. That’s the first annual decline since 1991.

Still, economists expect growth to slow this year as …. READ MORE HERE

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