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Real gross domestic product increased at an anemic annual rate of 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to advance estimates released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The growth rate is down from 4.9% in the third quarter.
Economists polled in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's last Survey of Professional Forecasters released in November projected growth of 1.5% in fourth-quarter real GDP.
On the other hand, the United States added 130,000 jobs in January, according to the national employment report released today by Automatic Data Processing Inc. (NYSE: ADP). That is consistent with the three-month average of 110,000 jobs from October through December, according to the report. It also revised downward the number of jobs the U.S. added in December by 3,000 for a total of 37,000.
Employment in the service sector increased by 141,000 in January, while employment in the goods-producing sector fell by 11,000, according to the report.
Construction employment fell by 13,000 in January, the 14th consecutive month of declines in the sector hit hard by subprime mortgage woes, the report said. There are now 215,000 construction jobs.
The ADP report is based on data from ADP derived from an anonymous subset of roughly 500,000 U.S. business clients.