The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 0.2 percent in the last quarter of 2001, signaling the U.S. recession may be ending. The rise was helped by the biggest quarterly increase in government spending in 15 years.
The War in Afghanistan and the boost in security measures at home pushed federal spending up more than nine percent in the last quarter, and that, in turn, pushed the economy into positive growth.
The economy had contracted at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the July to September quarter. For all of 2001, the economy grew by just 1.1 percent, a sharp decline from the 4.1 percent growth rate in 2000.
The present U.S. government estimate will undergo future monthly revisions. But if it remains positive, it could mark the end of negative growth, making the present recession one of the mildest of the 10 downturns that have occurred since the end of World War II.