U.S. Economy Expanded, Barely, at the End of 2012 

The U.S. 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.

GDP expanded at a 0.1 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said, missing the 0.5 percent 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. Much of the weakness came from a slowdown in inventory accumulation and a drop in military spending.

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