US economy grew at better 1 percent rate in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy’s slowdown in the final three months of 2015 wasn’t quite as extreme as initially thought.

The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, grew at an annual rate of 1 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s an improvement from the first estimate of 0.7 percent, though just half the 2 percent growth posted in the third quarter.

The revision was made because the downturn in business stockpiling was less severe than the government’s first estimate. That helped offset slightly weaker consumer spending.

Despite global weakness and financial market turbulence, economists still believe the economy is poised to accelerate this quarter. Steady job gains and faster wage growth are boosting consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy.