US growth rolls on to end of 2013 despite shutdown fears

THE US economy weathered the federal government shutdown in the last quarter of 2013, according to official statistics revealed yesterday.

On an annualised basis, the economy grew by 3.2 per cent between October and December. Increased consumption and investment held up the expansion of the economy.

“Government consumption took a massive hit of 4.9 per cent in the fourth quarter, no doubt partly due to the shutdown in October,” said Saxo Bank’s John Hardy.

Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics, added: “We expect GDP growth to slow to about 2.5 per cent in the first half of this year, but that should be enough to keep the unemployment rate on a downward trajectory.”

President Barack Obama heralded the growth of the US economy in his state of the union speech earlier this week.