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US economy grows 3.2 per cent in fourth quarter

The American economy grew 3.2 per cent, over the fourth quarter of last year, up from the 2.6 per cent GDP growth recorded in the third quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

As a result, over the course of 2010 real GDP rose 2.9 per cent in 2010 after falling 2.6 per cent in 2009.

The growth over the quarter was down on the 3.5 per cent that economists had expected, although it is a first estimate and may later be upgraded.

The labour department said the increase in real GDP in the quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment.

Indeed, consumer spending saw its largest quarterly rise since the first quarter of 2006, rising 4.4 per cent in the fourth quarter.

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Sub-Saharan Africa Near-Term Outlook

By Paul Caruana-Galizia, Neptune Economist

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic renaissance continues. After growing at an average rate of five per cent over the past decade, the IMF projects an acceleration to 5.5 per cent growth among Sub-Saharan economies in the next two years, as developed economies emerge from the crisis. We expect this growth to be sustainable for three broad reasons.

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