Exports, inventories lead U.S. Q4 growth
The U.S. economy, strongly boosted by exports, grew 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to Commerce Department figures released Friday.
It was the best economic performance in six years, but comes off a low base of activity given the deep recession that gripped the nation for more than a year.
In the third quarter, Gross Domestic Product grew 2.2 percent.
Businesses rebuilding inventories and a slowdown in imports, which increased 10.5 percent compared with 21.3 percent in the third quarter, primarily accounted for the acceleration in fourth quarter growth. Other areas of economic strength were exports, which increased 18.1 percent compared with a 17.8 percent increase in the third quarter, and personal consumption.
The change in private sector inventories added 3.39 percent to the fourth quarter change in GDP.
For the entire year, real GDP decreased 2.24 percent from 2008.
The GDP figures, compiled by the Bureau of Economic Statistics, are based on preliminary data and are likely to be revised next month.