4th Quarter GDP revised upward: from -0.1% to +0.1%


U.S. Fourth-Quarter Growth Revised Upward

By Eric Morath and Sarah Portlock | Updated February 28, 2013, 8:46 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy grew slightly in the fourth quarter of 2012—a reversal from an initial report of contraction—but the meager showing underscored that government spending cuts are slowing the recovery’s momentum.

The nation’s gross domestic product, a measure of all goods and services produced in the economy, advanced at a 0.1% annual rate between October and December, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The figure was revised up from an initially estimated 0.1% downturn.

The revised data was below expectations. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast Thursday’s report would show 0.5% growth.

Last quarter’s GDP growth matches the reading in the first quarter of 2011 as the weakest gain since the current recovery began in the second half of 2009. The change in direction was largely because trade was a bigger boost to the economy than first estimated. International trade added nearly a quarter percentage point to growth, a revision from the 0.25 percentage point drag estimated last month.

The revision means the economy has grown for 14 consecutive quarters. For all of last year, GDP advanced 2.2%—roughly in line with the overall pace of the recovery.

Emphasis mine; more at the link.

Your Editor wonders: if economists can’t get right what has already happened, just how much credence should we give their projections and predictions about what will happen in the future based on this policy proposal or that program change?

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