US economic growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter last year to an annual rate of just 2.2 percent as global weakness, fading government stimulus and rising trade tensions take a toll on the US economy.
Gross domestic product (GDP), the economy’s total output of goods and services, increased at a 2.2 percent in the fourth-quarter of 2018, the US Commerce Department said on Thursday.
The fourth-quarter GDP growth was less than initially thought, which was estimated in February to be 2.6 percent.
Economists believe growth has slowed further in the first quarter of 2019, which runs from January to March.
For all of 2018, the economy grew 2.9 percent as previously reported, the best performance since 2015. Analysts calculate that growth this year will slip to around 2.4 percent.
Concerns over the economy were underscored by other data on Tuesday showing US consumer confidence ebbing in March, with households becoming pessimistic about…