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What Thursday’s Quarterly GDP Report Will Tell Us About the State of the US Economy

Key Takeaways

  • Forecasters expect a Thursday report will show that gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2% in the fourth quarter, a slowdown from 4.9% in the third.
  • The Federal Reserve’s anti-inflation interest rate hikes have thrown sand in the gears of the economy, but not enough to send it into a recession as many experts had feared.
  • Forecasts may be thrown off significantly by late-arriving data from the government, one economist warned.

If forecasters are correct, U.S. economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as high interest rates dragged the economy down, ending a surprising burst of growth fueled by consumer spending.

The output of the economy as measured by gross domestic product is expected to have grown at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of 2% in the fourth quarter, according to a survey of economists by Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street…

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