“The U.S. economy’s momentum is slipping as bad weather and overseas volatility restrain consumers and businesses, diminishing hopes for an early-2014 breakout in growth,” Jeffrey Sparshott reports for The Wall Street Journal.
“Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.4% in the final quarter of the year, the Commerce Department said Friday, down from an initial reading of 3.2%,” Sparshott reports. “Private economists’ projections for the first quarter are even weaker, with many coming in below 2%.”
“Other recent economic gauges, alongside the downgraded GDP growth, have flashed warnings signs. Measures of consumer spending, job creation, factory output and the housing market have come in well below expectations,” Sparshott reports. “Though U.S. exports were a bit weaker than had been anticipated at the end of last year, they still rose a healthy 9.4% versus an initial reading of 11.4%. The U.S. has been exporting record amounts of petroleum products but merchandise trade fell off in December amid rising volatility in the global economy… Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen told lawmakers Thursday the bad weather might be responsible for recent soft economic data. ‘But at this point it is difficult to discern exactly how much,’ she said.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]