The growth in the U.S. economy in the final quarter of Barack Obama’s presidency was left at 1.9%, held down by a bigger trade deficit even as consumer spending rebounded strongly.The government’s second look at gross domestic product in the fourth quarter showed a bigger increase in purchases by consumers than initially reported: 3% vs. 2.5%. What Americans spend has the biggest influence by far on GDP, the official scorecard for the U.S. economy.Yet the increase in what consumers spent was offset by somewhat smaller gains in business investment and local and state spending, revised government figures reveal. As a result, GDP was unchanged from the original estimate.
The number of U.S. retailers ranked at the most-distressed level of the credit-rating spectrum has more than tripled since the Great Recession of 2008-2009 and is heading toward record levels in the next five years, Moody’s Investors Service said Monday.
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