Economy Grew at 3 Percent Pace in Q4 2011

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, the Commerce Department reported in its revised estimate on Wednesday, the highest since the second quarter of 2010.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised the figure higher from the 2.8 percent it reported on Jan. 27.

The change in estimate reflected higher nonresidential fixed investment, such as new factories, and fewer imports. Additional personal consumption expenditures were in the revised figure, which was already a large component in the first estimate and had accelerated from third-quarter growth.

Real GDP, the output of goods and services produced in the U.S., increased at a revised annual rate of 1.8 percent in the third quarter.

A strong holiday retail season helped consumption in the fourth quarter on rising sales of computers and motor vehicles.

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