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Economy grew slower than previously forecast


The U.S. economy grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter of 2010 than previously reported, according to Bloomberg.

The revised annual rate of growth – 2.8 percent compared with a 3.2 percent estimate issued last month – was less than the 3.3 percent gain in gross domestic product projected by economists and came as state and local governments cut spending.

“The economy underperformed expectations in the fourth quarter,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at West Chester, Pa.-based Moody’s Analytics Inc.

The rising price of oil, which topped $100 a barrel this week, also threatens to restrain consumer spending, but Sweet said consumers aren’t balking at the higher fuel costs.

 “If you factor in the rising gas prices, the economy is performing well,” he said. “Consumers are taking the rise in gasoline prices in stride.”

For all of 2010, the U.S. economy expanded 2.8 percent, the most in five years.

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