Economic growth was actually weaker last year than in 2012
Economists had been pessimistic, but the national gross domestic product increased at a not-so-terrible rate of 3.2 percent in October, November, and December. Good news, especially since the data for the previous quarter had been encouraging as well. That said, there is still reason to worry about weak figures for employment, residential construction and manufacturing. And overall, while the economy did expand last year, growth was actually slower than in 2012. “GDP for the entire year grew by 1.9 percent. That is slower than 2012’s pace of 2.8 percent and partly a reflection of significant government spending cuts,” writes Ylan Q. Mui. As the chart above shows, the rate of growth remains well below historically typical rates of around 3 percent to 5 percent. Click below for the complete analysis.