U.S. Economy Cooled as G.D.P. Grew at 2.6% Rate in Fourth Quarter

The American economy slowed at the end of 2018 — and there could be a further slowdown to come.

Gross domestic product — the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the United States — grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That marks a significant slowdown from the middle of the year, when a sugar high fueled by tax cuts and government spending increases briefly pushed growth above 4 percent.

This year looks to be off to an even worse start. Many economists expect growth to drop below 2 percent in the first quarter, in part because of the partial government shutdown, which began in December and extended through most of January.

The shutdown also had another effect: It Fed Explains Pause as Officials Debate Future Rate IncreasesFeb. 20, 2019Housing Is Already in a Slump. So It (Probably) Can’t Cause a Recession.Feb. 19, 2019

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