Wall Street Journal (01/30/15) Josh Mitchell; Jeffrey Sparshott
The economy grew at an annual pace of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, down from 5.0% in the third quarter. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a growth rate of 3.2%. For the year as a whole, GDP grew 2.4%, up slightly from the average 2.2% growth during 2010-13, but down significantly from the 1990s annual average of 3.4%. The government report reveals a persistently uneven recovery—surging job growth and a decline in gasoline prices has led to a sharp increase in consumer spending, but business investment and export growth have slowed. Many economists forecast growth of between 2% and 3% in the first quarter of the year.