U.S. economic growth basically flat

  @AnnalynKurtz February 28, 2013: 8:59 AM ET
gdp 022813

Economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

The U.S. economy didn't contract in the fourth quarter after all, but the bigger picture remains the same: It's still stuck in slow motion.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic growth, grew at an annual rate of 0.1% from October to December, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

The new data stems from a government revision, after it initially reported last month that the economy contracted 0.1%. Revisions are common, and Thursday's report marks the second of three estimates on GDP.

Overall, the change is so minor, it doesn't really change the picture of the U.S. economy. Growth slowed in the fourth quarter, and is far too slow to boost job growth, which remains the key problem facing the economy.

"This report provides further evidence that the economy stumbled into the finish line last year," said Jim Baird, partner and chief investment strategist for Plante Moran Financial Advisors, in a research note. "While the revision is technically an improvement, the bottom line is that it's still bad."

Related: Workers over 50 are the new 'unemployables'

One major economic theory suggests that the economy needs to grow around 3% a year to bring unemployment down by one percentage point. The unemployment rate was 7.9% as of January.

This slow growth is exactly why Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday that a "reasonable guess" would point to the unemployment rate not falling to 6% until around 2016. To top of page



Join the Conversation
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.41%4.44%
15 yr fixed3.33%3.31%
5/1 ARM3.34%3.55%
30 yr refi4.39%4.41%
15 yr refi3.31%3.30%
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
CNNMoney Sponsors
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.