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US GDP growth surprises market

US financial markets have this afternoon moved higher after the release of US GDP figures showing an annual increase of 5.7% in the final quarter of 2009. This is the largest annual increase for six years and took many analysts by surprise after concerns were voiced about the underlying strength of the US economy.

The attention has now moved back onto the US economy after a week in which Pres Obama grabbed the headlines with his ongoing banking lobby program and the Chinese economy became the main focus for investors. The truth is that the US economy is the engine room of the worldwide economy and US trading partners will be able to feed off the higher than expected growth in US GDP.

When you compare the problems with the UK economy against those in the US it seems that the two countries are moving further and further apart on the economic front. Economic growth in the UK in the final quarter of 2009 was a meagre 0.1% which could actually be revised downwards in the future. There is growing concern that the UK is being left behind by other powerhouses of the world and will suffer in the short to medium term unless a sudden pickup arrives.

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