The U.S. economy reverted to a sluggish pace of growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 but still ended the year with some momentum going into the first quarter of 2017. In its first of three official estimates, the Commerce Department said gross domestic product expanded at an inflation and seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.9% in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, easing considerably from the third quarter’s 3.5% growth spurt. For all of 2016, the U.S. economy grew just 1.6% for all of 2016, down from 2.6% the previous year and the worst performance since 2011. According to the Los Angeles Times, the report “showed how difficult President Trump’s vow of 4% annual growth will be to achieve.” “I almost want to say 4% is out of reach. It’s a huge stretch,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West.
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