U.S. Economic Growth Quickened Last Quarter With Inventory Boost

U.S. economic growth accelerated in the final three months of last year, fueled by the rebuilding of inventories and a pickup in consumer spending.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 6.9% annualized rate following a 2.3% pace in the third quarter, the Commerce Department’s preliminary estimate showed Thursday. The personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy, an inflation measure followed closely by Federal Reserve officials, grew an annualized 4.9% last quarter.

The median forecast in a survey of economists called for a 5.5% increase in GDP.

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