The United States' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) eked up 0.1 percent annual rate from October to December, according to a Commerce Department report released Thursday, far slower than forecasted. The latest report stops short of analysts' projected 0.5 percent gain and is the slowest since early 2011. The data shows that while the economy is not backsliding, thanks to slight boon in exports and a drop in imports, it is not growing a pace fast enough to lower unemployment rates. A decline in inventories and military spending drove down the GDP, the broadest measure of economic growth. Inventories fell 1.55 percentage points from the GDP growth rate during the period, while Defense spending sank 22 percent.
However, it was driven up by consumer spending, roughly two-thirds of national output, which expanded at a 2.1 percent annual rate. The figure is revised from earlier reports that the economy shrank 0.1 percent annual rate in the final months of last year.