January 27, 2011 / 7:48 PM / 9 years ago

Exports boosted U.S. growth in Q4: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Booming U.S. exports are giving a much-needed boost to U.S. economic growth, Commerce Undersecretary Francisco Sanchez said on Thursday.

“In total, net exports are likely to contribute between 2 and 3 percentage points to the annual rate of real GDP in the fourth quarter,” Sanchez said.

Economists expect a report on Friday to show the economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2010, which would be the fastest pace in three years.

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed significantly in October and November. Figures for December are not yet available.

“While we all wish for a faster recovery, through November exports grew nearly 17 percent compared to 2009. This is a tremendous accomplishment,” Sanchez said at an event marking the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama setting a goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years.

The Obama administration will push on a number of fronts this year to meet that goal, Sanchez said.

Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by John O'Callaghan

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