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U.S. economy grew by 2.3% in 2019 -- the slowest rate of Trump's presidency

U.S. economy grew by 2.3% in 2019 -- the slowest rate of Trump's presidency
The 2.3 percent economic growth for all of 2019 is the slowest pace of President Donald Trump's administration. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy grew 2.1 percent during the last three months of 2019 and 2.3 percent for the entire year -- its slowest pace in three years, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

President Donald Trump's administration had projected annual growth of 3 percent after Congress made sweeping tax reforms in 2017, but that mark has yet to be seen. In historical terms, 2019 was the slowest-growing year of Trump's presidency, after the GDP grew 2.9 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent in his first year.

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"The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, federal government spending, state and local government spending, residential fixed investment, and exports,," the department said Thursday, adding that U.S. imports declined.

Consumer spending increased for a record 11th straight year, the department said, even as businesses cut back on investment and production. Government spending increased 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, largely on spending for military hardware like ships, planes and missile systems.

The price index for gross domestic purchases grew 1.5 percent over the last three months of the year, compared with 1.4 percent in the third quarter. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased by 1.6 percent.

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