After near-stall in late 2012, U.S. economy picks up
<p>WASHINGTON — After nearly stalling in late 2012, the American economy quickened its pace early this year despite deep government cutbacks. The strongest consumer spending in two years fueled a 2.5 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter.</p>
<p>The question is: Can it last?</p>
<p>Federal spending cuts, higher Social Security taxes and cautious businesses are likely to weigh on the economy in coming months.</p>
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