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Bloomberg: U.S. Economy Grows in 2011 End

The economy in the U.S. grew at a 3 percent annual rate in the last three months of 2011, the same as previously estimated, while corporate profits climbed at the slowest pace in three years, raising the risk that business investment and hiring will cool, according to Bloomberg News.

The increase in gross domestic product was the biggest in more than a year and followed a 1.8 percent gain in the prior period, revised figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington, D.C. Company earnings were up 0.9 percent from the third quarter, the smallest advance since the last three months of 2008, according to the business news source.

While the report showed business spending on new equipment and software climbed more the previously estimated, figures this month indicate outlays are slowing following the expiration of a government tax credit. Consumers may be poised to take a leading role in the expansion as the biggest increase in employment since 2006 gives households the confidence and means to spend, Bloomberg News reported.

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