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US Q4 growth unexpectedly revised down

US Q4 growth unexpectedly revised down
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The US economy grew more slowly than initially estimated in the fourth quarter of last year.

GDP growth was just 2.8 percent from the same period a year earlier. The original estimate was 3.2 percent.

Economists had expected GDP growth, which measures total goods and services output within US borders, to be revised up to a 3.3 percent pace. The economy expanded at a 2.6 percent rate in the third quarter.

Among the factors were less robust consumer spending and a steeper contraction in government spending than previously calculated.

Business investment was better than originally thought but spending on equipment and software was lower.

Exports were revised higher, but the upward revision to imports was even greater.

The figures were released just after it was revealed that the US housing market, which sparked the economic slump remains moribund.

For the whole of 2010, the economy grew 2.8 percent instead of the previous estimate of 2.9 percent.

New single-family home sales fell more than expected in January down 12.6 percent from a year earlier.

Some economists have now lowered their forecasts for the first quarter as the outlook for growth is looking less robust against the backdrop of surging crude oil prices and impending government budget cuts.