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Consumer spending was tepid in November and a gauge of business investment fell for a second straight month, suggesting the economy lost some of its recent momentum.
Some analysts trimmed fourth-quarter growth forecasts after the weak consumption and factory data on Friday. But many still expected output to expand at an annual pace of more than 3 percent, faster than the 1.8 percent in the July-September period.
"The economy got off to a solid start this quarter, but it seems to have cooled a little bit in November. Growth is still going to be strong this quarter, but it's going to slow in the first half of 2012 because of Europe," said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Consumer spending ticked up 0.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said, after rising by the same margin in October. Economists had expected spending, which accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, to rise 0.3 percent.
When adjusted for inflation, spending rose 0.2 percent last month after a similar gain in October.
In another report, the department said non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending, fell 1.2 percent last month after declining 0.9 percent in October.
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