WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 -- (Kyodo) The U.S. economy expanded at an annualized real 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 due to strong personal consumption and exports, both of which hit three-year highs, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
In the whole of 2013, the U.S. economy grew 1.9 percent in terms of the inflation-adjusted change in gross domestic product, slowing from a 2.8 percent expansion in the previous year, the department said.
The pace of growth in the October-December period slowed from 4.1 percent in the previous quarter.
Personal consumption, which accounts for two-thirds of the economy, increased 3.3 percent -- the highest since 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 and up from 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2013 -- on robust sales during the year-end shopping season.
Exports increased 11.4 percent in the fourth quarter, the highest since 12.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 and up sharply from 3.9 percent the previous quarter, reflecting a pickup in overseas economies.
The growth in imports slowed to 0.9 percent from 2.4 percent the preceding quarter, the department said.
Nonresidential private investment in such items as plant, equipment and software, increased 3.8 percent, down from a 4.8 percent expansion the previous quarter.
Private residential investment contracted 9.8 percent in sharp contrast to the 10.3 percent expansion the previous quarter.
Government expenditure in the October-December period shrank 4.9 percent due to the partial shutdown of federal government services in October, compared with a 0.4 percent increase the previous quarter.
The figures for GDP measure total output of goods and services within a country's borders.
(c) 2014 Kyodo News International, Inc.
Original headline: US GDP UPDATE1
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