US Economy Grew at Weak 1.9 Percent
Rate in 4th Quarter
February 28, 201
The U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the economy grew at a
lackluster pace of 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. While the
figure was unchanged from the initial estimate last month, it
represented a marked slowdown from the 3.5 percent growth reported in
the third quarter.
Consumer spending was stronger than first thought, however, up .5 of a
percentage point to 3 percent, even as state and local government
spending declined slightly. Consumer spending is an important economic
indicator because it's the biggest driver of the U.S. economy.
GDP growth was just 1.6 percent for all of 2016, the weakest in five
years. Since the recession ended in 2009, annual growth has averaged 2.1
GDP, or gross domestic product, is the broadest measure of a country's
economic health and represents the total value of all goods and services
produced over a period of time.
During the presidential election campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump
promised to double economic growth to 4 percent through a program of tax
cuts, infrastructure spending and reduction in regulations. Many
economists say that may be overly optimistic, given the aging of the
U.S. population and declining productivity.