Financial News

  • 31 January 2014, 15:47

US Growth Hits 3.2% In Last Quarter Of 2013

America's economy grew at a annual rate of 3.2% in the last three months of 2013, according to official figures.

The healthy growth was recorded despite the October government shutdown, the Commerce Department said.

Gross domestic product (GDP) was primarily boosted by exports and domestic consumer spending.

The figure beat forecasts of 3% GDP growth and follows the 4.1% recorded in the third quarter.

The slight dip in Q4 growth was blamed on a 12.6% decrease in government spending, weaker business investment and slowing house purchases.

But consumers opened their wallets and purses, spending 3.3% more than in Q3, up from the 2% rise in the previous three months.

Data showed goods and services exports leapt by 11.4% in the final quarter, up from the 3.9% recorded in Q3.

The Commerce Department said the total impact of the federal shutdown from October 1 to 16 "could not be quantified".

However, US property slowdown may further affect ongoing growth, as used home sales dropped 8.7% in December, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Last week, the group said sales of previously occupied homes reached 5.1 million in 2013, the highest level in seven years.

The Fed's decision to taper quantitative easing by another $10bn (6bn) a month, down to $65bn (40bn), is also feared to adversely affect domestic output in the coming months.

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