Q4 spending cuts returned U.S. economy to decline

Economic growth in the U.S. ended in the fourth quarter as government spending cuts overpowered the Federal Reserve's efforts to boost expansion. Gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 0.1%, making it the economy's worst quarter since the end of the recession, the Commerce Department said. More spending cuts are scheduled to take effect March 1 unless Congress acts to avert them.

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