The Economy's Gloomy December Start

Thanks to the contracting manufacturing sector and a drop in construction spending, expectations for fourth-quarter GDP growth have been lowered

November ended with a volley of unfriendly data for the U.S. economy, and it looks as if December is starting out the same way. Weakness in U.S. economic reports released on Dec. 1 concerning the Institute for Supply Management's factory sentiment index, and construction spending—following the weak releases on durable goods orders, the Chicago purchasing managers' sentiment index, and initial jobless claims earlier in the week—have taken a big chunk out of the near-term U.S. GDP outlook. But the reports probably won't move the Federal Reserve from its current policy path.

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