The U.S. economy’s expansion slowed in the fourth quarter, and annual growth failed to reach 3% for an 11th straight year, reflecting the huge hurdles the Trump administration faces in trying to speed up a 7½-year-old expansion. Gross domestic product, the official score card for the economy, expanded at a 1.9% annual clip from October to December, the Commerce Department said. That’s a marked drop from a 3.5% growth rate in the third quarter and below the 2.2% MarketWatch-compiled consensus.
In early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.11% was little changed. The Dow finished at a record high Thursday, however, and is now up 25% over the last 52 weeks. For the full year, the U.S. grew just 1.6%, compared with its 2.6% clip in 2015. It was the weakest performance since 2011. The last time the U.S. topped 3% growth — the historical average is 3.3% — was in 2005. FULL REPORT