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2016 GDP growth slowest in five years

The Commerce Department says that the U.S. economy grew at just 1.6% last year, the lowest reading since 2011.

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Data: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The details of Commerce's release were somewhat more encouraging, as a likely temporary dip in exports dragged down the reading.

Why it matters: Though this is just a preliminary estimate, it underscores the difficulty policy makers will have getting GDP to grow at 4%, as Republicans have repeatedly promised they'd do. Reduced regulations and corporate taxes will encourage investment, but there's only so much that can be done when trade partners are struggling, income inequality is rising, and domestic population growth is slowing.