WASHINGTON - The world's largest economy cooled in the final quarter of last year, expanding slower than expected, but 2017 still saw faster growth than 2016, according to government data released Friday.

After two quarters of expansion above three percent, GDP slowed to 2.6 percent in the October-December period held down by a big jump in imports, according to the first estimate from the Commerce Department.

That was slower than analysts expected and meant growth for the year was 2.3 percent, up from the 1.5 percent in 2016 but far below President Donald Trump's three percent goal.

But the result is subject to revision by the Commerce Department as more data become available.

The figures do not reflect an anticipated boost to economic activity from Republican tax cuts enacted last month, although preliminary forecasts suggest additional growth may be modest.

Trump rose to power a year ago on a nationalist economic agenda, seeking to energize the US growth to three percent by revitalizing manufacturing and attacking bilateral trade trade deficits while slashing taxes and regulation and limiting immigration.

Making the case for his America First vision at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trumpsaid, "The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America... America is open for business, and we are competitive once again."

The GDP data showed growth in the fourth quarter was boosted by consumer spending, exports, an upturn in home buying, business investments, and government spending at the local and federal level.

Exports also had a good quarter as the US dollar continued to weaken, gaining 12.6 percent compared to the prior quarter, the largest jump in four years.

But imports, which subtract from GDP, rose an even faster 13.9 percent, the largest quarterly increase in more than seven years.

Durable goods orders were a bright spot for the quarter, with sales of large, factory-made items rising by 8.2 percent, the biggest quarterly gain in 14 years.