Q4 GDP Growth Revised Up to 2.6%

Real U.S. gross domestic product increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.6% for the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens as PDF) released today. 

This is the third and final estimate for the year-end period's GDP growth, which roughly represents the economic growth in the U.S. from the third quarter to the fourth quarter. This latest number clocked in 0.2 percentage points ahead of the second estimate, but it fell short of analyst expectations of 2.7% growth. 

While the report states that "the general picture of economic growth remains largely the same," personal spending was larger than previously estimated, up 3.3% for the fourth quarter, its best quarterly pace since 2010. At the same time, estimates for private investment in inventories and intellectual property products were both downsized.

The quarter's absolute GDP increase came primarily from increased personal spending, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment. At the same time, federal government spending, residential fixed investments, and an increase in imports all softened the fourth quarter's GDP.

Even with the upward revision, growth in the overall economy slowed from a 4.1% pace in the July-September quarter.

For all of 2013, the economy grew at a lackluster 1.9% after growth of 2.8% in 2012.

The Commerce Department also published inflation numbers via the GDP Price Index. In this third and final estimate, inflation remained the same as the previous estimate for Q4, at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1.6%, matching analyst expectations. The Federal Reserve's long-term inflation target is 2%.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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