U.S. economic growth braked more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter amid a moderate increase in business inventories and a wider trade deficit, but strong domestic demand brightened the outlook. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual pace, revised down from the 2.6 percent pace estimated last month, the Commerce Department said on Friday. The economy grew at a 5 percent rate in the third quarter. Businesses accumulated $88.4 billion worth of inventory in the fourth quarter, far less than the $113.1 billion the government had estimated last month.
Raising interest rates too late is safer than acting too early, an influential Federal Reserve official said on Friday, endorsing a high-profile research paper that argues the U.S. economy, given time, can rebound to the strong growth rate to which Americans are accustomed. The paper by four top U.S. economists, presented on Friday to a roomful of powerful central bankers in New York, argues the Fed would be wise to keep rates at rock bottom for longer than planned and then tighten monetary policy more aggressively. New York Fed President William Dudley, who offered a critique of the paper, cited currently low inflation and warned against being too anxious to tighten monetary policy. The U.S. central bank is in the global spotlight as it weighs when to lift rates after more than six years near zero, and how quickly to tighten policy thereafter.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 posted its best monthly gain since October 2011 on Friday, but U.S. stocks ended lower for the day as U.S. economic growth slowed more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy has awarded a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Sikorsky Helicopter a contract worth $2 billion to service the Navy's H-60 helicopters through Jan. 31, 2020, the Pentagon announced on Friday.
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn's publicly traded investment fund posted its first annual loss since 2008 last year, undone by plummeting oil prices, the company said in a regulatory filing on Friday. Results were hurt by a halving of oil prices between June and December amid a global supply glut. "This year's results were obviously disappointing, with the precipitous decline in oil prices impacting the profitability of many of our segments," Icahn said in a statement. The performance of Apple Inc , the largest position in Icahn's investment segment, "softened the impact of the decline in oil prices and hopefully will continue to do so," Icahn said.