WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy expanded at a sluggish pace in the fourth quarter although a big gain in business investment and higher exports of services led the government to push up its previous estimate for growth.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 0.4% annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, just below the 0.5% gain forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Total loans on Wells Fargo's books rose $30 billion, up 4%, from a year earlier. But mortgage originations declined 10% compared with the third quarter.Saying housing markets are much improved, Wells Fargo & Co.
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Italy's economic recovery continued in the first quarter due to foreign demand but the labour market remained sluggish, slowing household consumption, the Bank of Italy said Friday."The most recent short-term indicators emphasise a continued economic recovery in the first quarter of 2011," while industrial production, mainstay of Italian growth, rose slightly, the bank said in a quarterly statement."Growth continues to be driven by foreign demand," it added.Growth in Italy slowed in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 0.1 percent, taking the full-year to 1.3 percent.