During the last three months of the year, the U.S. economy picked up its pace of growth. The Commerce Department revised its previous estimate today and said the gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3 percent, which exceeded the previous estimate of 2.8 percent and was better than the third quarter's 1.8 percent pace.
The AP reports:
"The growth estimate was revised up because consumers spent more than first thought, and businesses cut spending by much less.
"Imports rose by a smaller amount. The report also showed that incomes rose in the second half of last year by more than previously estimated. Americans saved more, too.
"Much of the growth in the fourth quarter was driven by companies restocking their shelves. Many had cut their inventories over the summer, when they thought the economy was on the verge of a recession."
Bloomberg reports that its survey of economists had predicted Commerce would make no revision to the number.
"The U.S. economy looks decent," Drew Matus, senior U.S. economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford Connecticut, told Bloomberg. "There are certainly risks out there, but it looks better than what people are giving it credit for. The combination of job growth and credit creation and better spending numbers all seem to be feeding off themselves."
As we reported, another positive sign of recovery is that the Dow closed above 13,000 yesterday. It was the first time it hit that mark since the 2008 financial crisis.