Fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP), the total output of goods and services in the U.S., grew at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in 2012, up from previous estimates of 0.01 percent, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
This is the third and final revision of GDP figures for the October-December period. This is also the weakest quarterly output in nearly two years and a disappointing decline from Q3’s increase of 3.1 percent.
“The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the ‘second’ estimate issued last month,” the report explains. “In the second estimate, real GDP increased 0.1 percent. While nonresidential fixed investment is higher than previously estimated, the revision to GDP has not changed the general picture of the economy.”
“The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed investment,” the report adds.
However, these positive contributions were offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, federal government spending, exports, and state and local government spending, according to report.
“Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased,” the report reads.
Pay close attention to this part of the report:
The deceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected downturns in private inventory investment, in federal government spending, in exports, and in state and local government spending that were partly offset by an upturn in nonresidential fixed investment, a larger decrease in imports, and an acceleration in PCE.
So there you have it. Those are the final GDP figures for Q4, “a number largely meaningless, although it does put closure to the economy in 2012,” as Zero Hedge puts it.
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