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Home Depot CEO: Housing recovery underway, GDP growth expected to be modest

Says sees 'a number of pressures' on consumers including reduced disposable income, constraints on credit availability. Says believes path to recovery will resemble gradual thawing process. Says saw sales lift from Hurricane Sandy in Q4; sees impact of Sandy continuing through at least 1H13. Says an encouraging sign in Q4 was that sales to pro customers grew on par with sales to consumers. Comments made on the Q4 earnings conference call.