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Economic Growth Slowed in Q4 2022

The U.S. economy’s growth slowed slightly to a 2.9% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2022, down from a 3.2% annual rate in the third quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

Output increases: “Economic output grew 1% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with a year earlier, the Commerce Department said. That compares with 5.7% growth in 2021 and 2.6% growth in 2019 ahead of the pandemic.”

Why it happened: Some of the reduction in growth in 2022 represents an expected return to normal after the supercharged output of 2021, when businesses reopened after pandemic lockdowns. 

An eye ahead: Although growth has continued, economists remain concerned about the possibility of a recession on the horizon. The Federal Reserve’s ongoing efforts to tamp down inflation are designed to cool the economy and may cause significant reductions in spending and hiring.

In related news: New orders for durable goods increased in December, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • “New orders for manufactured durable goods in December, up four of the last five months, increased $15.3 billion or 5.6 percent to $286.9 billion. This followed a 1.7 percent November decrease.”
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