The U.S. economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter, amid strong consumer spending, with growth for the full year coming in at 2.5%. The Commerce Department's advance fourth-quarter gross domestic product report also showed inflation pressures subsiding further. The strong economic performance, which appears to have spilled over into the new year, suggested that March would be too soon for the U.S. central bank to start cutting interest rates. Rate cuts this year, however, remain in the cards as inflation cools.

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