Economic growth accelerated from near zero to a 2.5 percent rate in the winter quarter as consumers went on a spending spree, the Commerce Department reported Friday morning.
The U.S. economy just barely eked out a quarter of growth at the end of last year, according to revised estimates published by the Commerce Department on Thursday morning.
U.S. consumers are in an upbeat mood and are preparing to spend more this holiday season than last year's, providing a badly needed boost to the economy. But headwinds from the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy and the year-end political storm brewing in Washington could put a damper on their shopping spree, analysts say.
Europe has been in the second leg of a double-dip recession for nearly a year, officials announced Wednesday — a development that hardly comes as a surprise to the millions of workers protesting record-high unemployment in the streets of Athens and Madrid, or to many U.S. corporations with slumping sales on the continent.
Unemployment ticked up to 7.9 percent despite a better-than-expected job gain of 171,000 last month, the Labor Department reported Friday morning.
The sluggish recovery, as GOP candidate Mitt Romney repeatedly notes, pales in comparison to previous comebacks in the U.S. economy since World War II, but studies show that recessions resulting from major financial collapses such as the one in October 2008 usually have slow and difficult recoveries.
The nation's economic growth accelerated modestly in the summer quarter, rising to a 2 percent annual rate from the sluggish 1.3 percent seen in the spring, the Commerce Department reported Friday morning.
U.S. consumers went on another shopping spree last month, driving up retail sales by a robust 1.1 percent in the second straight month of sizable gains, the Commerce Department reported Monday morning.
U.S. consumers snapped out of a spring funk last month and went on a shopping spree. That sent sales at department stores, restaurants, auto showrooms and other retailers soaring by 0.8 percent, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday morning.