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Costa do Sauipe (Brazil) (AFP) - On the eve of Friday's draw, and amid lingering doubts all the venues will be ready in time, a trio of Brazilian legends on Thursday vowed their country will host a successful World Cup. As FIFA readied the 32 balls representing each qualified team to be distributed across eight groups of four in the northeastern resort of Costa do Sauipe former champions Ronaldo, Bebeto and Mario Zagallo insisted Brazil will meet the challenge of hosting the event for the first time since 1950. Preparations have been marred by months of speculation, given credence by regular FIFA reports, of some of the 12 stadiums spread across the vast country of 200 million would struggle to be ready.
Gross domestic product grew at a 3.6 percent annual rate instead of the 2.8 percent pace reported earlier, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. The contribution from inventories had previously been estimated at 0.8 percentage point. A gauge of domestic demand rose at just a 1.8 percent rate. The strong inventory accumulation in the face of a slowdown in domestic demand means businesses will need to draw down on stocks, which will weigh on GDP growth this quarter.