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U.S. Economy Showed Significant Growth in Q4

Gross domestic product grew at pace of 6.9 percent, but omicron and supply shortages may stymie Q1 2022 numbers.
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The federal government this morning reported that U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 6.9 percent pace in the last quarter of 2021, the biggest expansion since 1984, according to The New York Times.

The news is tempered by indicators that the economy slowed recently as the Covid-19 omicron variant has caused worker shortages and further exacerbated supply chain troubles.

Still, the Wall Street Journal today reported that spending growth slowed in January but hadn’t fallen, a signal that consumers aren’t particularly frightened and that economic growth should resume.

In other financial news, the Federal Reserve signaled its plan to raise interest rates in March, a move to help tamp down elevated rates of inflation.

“I would say that the committee is of a mind to raise the federal funds rate at the March meeting, assuming that the conditions are appropriate for doing so,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell said in a news conference.

Powell could not cite a specific number but said, “We are aware that this is a very different expansion with higher inflation, higher growth, a much stronger economy — and I think those differences are likely to be reflected in the policy that we implement.”

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