News Summary: US economy expands at quicker pace

News Summary: US economy grew at 0.4 percent rate in 4Q, slightly better than last estimate

Associated Press

CHUGGING ALONG: The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster but still anemic rate of 0.4 percent at the end of 2012, up from the Commerce Department's previous estimate of 0.1 percent growth. Third-quarter growth was 3.1 percent.

LONGER VIEW: For all of 2012, the economy grew 2.2 percent after a 1.8 percent increase in 2011 and a 2.4 percent advance in 2010. Problems ranging from higher gas prices to Europe's debt crisis have hurt.

HIGHER HOPES: Analysts say the economy is growing at a rate of around 2.5 percent in the current January-March quarter, which ends this week. Steady hiring has kept consumers spending this year. A rebound in company stockpiling, gains in housing and more business spending have also helped.

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