The Department of Commerce has revised its estimate of 4th-qtr. 2011 gross domestic product (GDP) upward from 2.8% to 3%. That's major improvement from a 1.8% growth rate in the prior quarter, and the fastest growth since the second quarter of 2010.
Economic growth was stronger than originally thought at the end of 2011 as consumers increased their spending and businesses invested in equipment and software.
"The acceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected an upturn in private inventory investment and accelerations in PCE and in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment, a downturn in federal government spending, an acceleration in imports, and a larger decrease in state and local government spending," states the report. "Final sales of computers added 0.12 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.22 percentage point to the third-quarter change. Motor vehicle output added 0.43 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.12 percentage point to the third-quarter change."