U.S. economy did less terribly than feared at end of 2015

Unemployment drops to 4.9%, lowest in 8 years
Unemployment drops to 4.9%, lowest in 8 years

One percent growth never looked this good.

The fragile condition of the U.S. economy received an upgrade on Friday when the government said it grew at a 1% pace between October and December. That's up from an initial estimate of just 0.7% and should ease fears the U.S. is on the verge of slipping into a recession.

No, the economy is not going gangbusters. It remains under pressure from anemic global growth and a super-strong U.S. dollar that is slamming manufacturing.

Related: U.S. recession fears look overblown

And fourth-quarter GDP wasn't revised higher for "good" reasons. The government cited lower import demand and a surprise increase in inventories. The inventories build could end up stealing growth from the first quarter.

Still, the U.S. economy is widely believed to be in the midst of a rebound in early 2016. First-quarter growth is expected to rise to a decent pace of around 2.5% thanks to stronger consumer spending.

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