WASHINGTON -- Slightly stronger than expected despite the partial government shutdown, the economy grew at an annual rate of 3.2% in the fourth quarter, official data released Thursday showed.
Most analysts had penciled in 3% gross domestic product growth in the October-December quarter, following more robust growth of 4.1% in the third quarter.
The Commerce Department said the fourth-quarter slowdown mainly reflected lower inventory investment, as well as a larger decrease in government spending, a downturn in housing investment and weaker business investment.
Offsetting those restraints were pick-ups in net exports and consumer spending.
The full effects of the October 1-16 federal government shutdown, which furloughed thousands of workers, "could not be quantified," the Commerce Department said.
However, it said, it estimated the effects of the reduction in hours worked by federal employees as trimming 0.3% point off GDP growth.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014