Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy: "The U.S. economy was weaker in the fourth quarter of 2007, with real GDP ending the year at a 0.6 percent annualized growth rate. The weaker dollar helped boost real exports, which increased at an annualized 3.9 percent, while real imports were constant. Consumer spending increased by an annualized 2.0 percent. Investment remained weak, particularly in the residential sector where the nation has seen steady declines. In December 2007, new housing starts averaged an annualized 1.0 million homes—less than half the average level seen in 2005. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing composite index fell below 50 in December—the lowest reading since April 2003—suggesting that manufacturing output was contracting."