WASHINGTON — The national economy grew at a 1.7% annual rate last year, the slowest pace since 2007.
The slowdown was largely due to weak consumer spending, the lowest rate since 2011.
The national unemployment rate fell to 5.9% last year from 6.9%.
The economy added an annual rate of 5.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017, the longest stretch of growth since the Great Recession.
The unemployment rate dropped from 6% in February 2016 to 5% in May.
The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed Americans that would be counted if all Americans were counted, rather than counting those who are employed.
The economy grew 3.2% in August.
That was faster than the 0.7%, 0.6%, 0% and 0.3% growth rates reported in January, August and September.
The annual rate was 0.4% in December and January.
Inflation climbed to 2.9%, the fastest rate since January 2016, but the increase was only 2.3%.
That is below the average annual rate over the last five years of 3.9.
The increase was less than the 1.6 percentage point rate from January through August.
The Consumer Price Index for all items, which includes food, clothing, housing and transportation, rose 0.1% last month.
The monthly change in the index was 0% in September.
The Labor Department said Friday that payrolls rose in July for the second consecutive month.