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US economy expands at weakest pace since 2011

Published on Feb 28, 2013 10:03 PM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US economy barely grew in the fourth quarter although a slightly better performance in exports and fewer imports led the government to scratch an earlier estimate that showed an economic contraction.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 0.1 per cent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, missing the 0.5 per cent gain forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

The growth rate was the slowest since the first quarter of 2011 and far from what is needed to fuel a faster drop in the unemployment rate.

However, much of the weakness came from a slowdown in inventory accumulation and a sharp drop in military spending.

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