US economy grows at fastest pace in six years

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Friday, January 29, 2010

According to official data, the US economy grew by an annualised rate of 5.7% in the last quarter of last year.

The figure is still an initial estimate, but was higher than the 2.2% annualised growth recorded in the third quarter of the year. Economic analysts polled by the Reuters news agency had predicted a 4.6% rise.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, which releases the economy growth reports, noted that the figures were based on estimates and incomplete data, and might be revised later.

Christina Romer, an economist for the White House, described the growth as being "the most positive news to date on the economy", saying: "It is important not to read too much into a single report, positive or negative. There will surely be bumps in the road ahead. Nonetheless, today's report is a welcome piece of encouraging news."

Jack Ablin, chief investment officer for Harris Private Bank in Chicago, Illinois, remarked that "it's [the number] very solid and gives us a running start into the second half of the year when we can't rely on government stimulus. That's part of the plan, to get us moving as fast as possible so when life support is removed we'll have a pulse."