Fourth-quarter GDP revised up to 3.1%

By Reuters
Posted March 25 at 7:38 a.m.

The U.S. economy grew more quickly than previously estimated in the fourth quarter as businesses maintained fairly solid spending and restocked shelves. Gross domestic product growth was revised up to an annualized rate of 3.1 percent, the Commerce Department said in its final estimate, close to its initial estimate of 3.2 percent.

Economists had expected GDP growth, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, to be revised up to a 3.0 percent pace. The economy expanded at a 2.6 percent rate.

Data so far suggest the economy maintained this growth pace in the first quarter, but there are concerns that rising oil prices could crimp consumer spending and slow the economic recovery.

The pick-up in growth has been acknowledged by the Federal Reserve, which injected massive amounts of money into the economy to stimulate demand. The U.S. central bank is expected to 1668247139 The government raised fourth-quarter growth estimates to reflect stronger business spending and inventory accumulation than previously forecast.

The GDP report confirmed a pick-up in inflation pressures on surging food and gasoline prices. The personal consumption expenditures index rose at a revised 1.7 percent rate in the 1718580594 But a “core” price index closely watched by the Fed advanced at a revised 0.4 percent rate instead of 0.5 percent. The increase was the smallest rise on record.

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