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U.S. GDP Grows 3.0% In Q4, In Line With Estimates

U.S. GDP Grows 3.0% In Q4, In Line With Estimates
3/29/2012 10:10 AM ET

With a downward revision to exports offset by an upward revision to non-residential fixed investment, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing that the pace of U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter was unrevised.

The report showed that GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.0 percent in the fourth quarter, unchanged from the previous estimate and in line with economist estimates.

The GDP growth in the fourth quarter still reflects a notable acceleration from the 1.8 percent growth seen in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said the fourth quarter GDP growth primarily reflected positive contributions from private inventory investment, consumer spending, non-residential fixed investment, exports, and residential fixed investment.

At the same time, negative contributions from federal government spending and state and local government spending limited the upside. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, also increased during the quarter.

The report also showed that consumer spending increase in by 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, unrevised from the previous estimate but up from the 1.7 percent growth seen in the third quarter.

Business investment increased by an upwardly revised 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the 4.3 percent increase previously reported.

As mentioned above, however, the upward revision was offset by a downward revision to the pace of export growth. Exports increased by a downwardly revised 2.7 percent compared to the previously reported 4.3 percent growth.

Federal government spending, which increased 2.1 percent in the third quarter, fell by an unrevised 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter, with defense spending tumbling by 12.1 percent.

The Commerce Department also said its reading on core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, rose by 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter compared to a 2.1 percent increase in the third quarter.

by RTT Staff Writer

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