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US economic growth slowed slightly more than initially thought in the fourth quarter as the strongest pace of consumer spending in three years drew in imports and depleted inventories.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 per cent annual rate in the final three months of 2017, instead of the previously reported 2.6 per cent pace, the commerce department said in its second GDP estimate on Wednesday. That was a deceleration from the third quarter’s brisk 3.2 per cent pace.
The downward revision to the fourth-quarter GDP growth estimate largely reflected a smaller inventory build than previously reported. It was in line with economists’ expectations.
The economy appears to have lost further momentum at the start of the year, with recent data showing retail sales, home sales, durable goods orders and industrial production declining in January. In addition, the goods trade deficit widened last month as exports fell.