The Commerce Department said Friday it now estimates the economy grew by 2.4 percent in October, November and December, down from an initial estimate of 3.2 percent released on Jan. 30.

Economists had been expecting the government to revise the estimated rate of growth downward to 2.5 percent.

At 2.4 percent, the revised figure represents a substantial slowing from the pace of growth in the third quarter, 4.1 percent.

Most experts believe the economy will continue to expand at a lackluster pace in the first several months of 2014, with growth picking up over the remainder of the year. Economists are looking for growth of about 2 percent in the first quarter.