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The US economy continued to recover at a moderate pace. Effective growth stimuli were once again lacking in the year under review. While spending on residential construction picked up again, uncertainties surrounding future tax burdens and fiscal policy (e. g. resulting from the “fiscal cliff” budget decision) were reflected in a general reluctance to invest. Private consumption, the key driver of US economic output, remained solid but – with disposable incomes virtually flat – was unable to boost growth. Government spending was restrained, although it rose again slightly towards the end of the year. Despite a generally positive trend on the US labour market, the continued high jobless number poses a risk and works against a more vigorous expansion of the economy. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 2.2% in 2012 as estimated by the ifo Institute.


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