Healthcare spending growth hits 10-year high
Health care spending rose at the fastest pace in 10 years last quarter, a development that could foreshadow higher costs for consumers this year. Expenses for health care rose at a 5.6% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said last week. The jump triggered a sharp upward revision in the government's estimate of consumer spending overall and accounted for nearly a quarter of the economy's 2.6% annualized growth in the last three months of 2013. Driving the increase was an $8 billion rise in hospital revenue — more than the previous four quarters combined, according to the Census Bureau and Royal Bank of Scotland.
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