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U.S. Economy Doing Just Fine But 3% Growth Still a Challenge

  • Trade, inventories dragged down GDP despite strong consumer
  • Trump administration targets sustained pace of 3% expansion
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White House's Hassett Says 4Q GDP Data a 'Slight Negative Surprise'

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Despite fourth-quarter U.S. growth missing forecasts, the world’s largest economy is doing just fine. The latest results also underscore just how challenging it will be to reach President Donald Trump’s goal of a sustained 3 percent pace.

The 2.6 percent annualized gain in gross domestic product, reported by the Commerce Department on Friday, fell short of the Bloomberg survey median projection of 3 percent. Yet consumer spending jumped 3.8 percent, the best in more than a year, business equipment investment grew at the fastest pace in three years, and housing made a strong contribution. The more-volatile categories of trade and inventories together lopped 1.8 percentage points off of growth.