Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
Real GDP in the fourth quarter was revised up by 0.2 percentage points to an annualized growth rate of 3.0 percent, according to the second estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The upward revision was primarily the result of upward adjustments to nonresidential fixed investment, real consumption, and a downward revision to real imports (which enter into the GDP calculation as a negative). These developments were partially offset by modest downward revisions to the change in real private inventories and real exports. Nonresidential fixed investment, following a strong third quarter gain (up 15.7 percent), was revised up from a 1.7 percent increase to a 2.8 percent gain in the fourth quarter, largely as structures investment was revised up from a 7.2 percent decline to a 2.6 percent decrease. Consumption was revised up from a gain of 2.0 percent to 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, adding roughly 0.1 percentage point to real GDP growth. Perhaps the most encouraging news was that as a result of the revisions, final sales of domestic product (GDP less inventories) was revised up from 0,8 percent to 1.1 percent. While this is still a deceleration relative to its growth rate of 3.2 percent in the third quarter, this does provide a slightly stronger demand trajectory heading into 2012. Our first take on the fourth quarter estimate of real Gross Domestic Income (GDI) was delayed until the next release because the data on fourth-quarter corporate profits was unavailable. Still, there was an interesting development in that alternative indicator of output growth: third quarter real GDI was revised up from a near flat (0.3 percent) reading to a relatively strong 2.6 percent gain.