Fourth-Quarter GDP Revised Slightly Higher

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WASHINGTON (UPI) — The Commerce Department revised its gross domestic product estimate for the fourth quarter upward Thursday, pegging growth of the U.S. economy at 0.4 percent.

The report released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis represents the third of three estimates released on the country’s economic performance for the final quarter of 2012.

The figures started in the negative and, a month ago, were revised to indicate gross domestic product growth of 0.1 percent from the third quarter to the fourth.

The department said non-residential fixed investment rose higher than previously estimated but the new figure “has not changed the general picture of the economy.”

Positive contributions came from consumer spending and residential fixed investment. But those contributions were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, federal government spending and exports, the bureau said.

In the final estimate for the quarter, the department said real non-residential fixed investments rose 13.2 percent in the quarter after declining 1.8 percent in the third quarter. Investment in equipment and software rose 11.8 percent after dropping 2.6 percent in the previous quarter.

It isn’t clear from the data whether commercial investments indicate businesses planning for growth or investing in overdue projects needed to maintain current levels of production.

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