Q4's Growth Is Best Since 2003

by: The Good News Economist

Rebuilding of depleted inventories was behind an improvement in 4Q economic growth estimates above what was previously estimated.

The estimate brought estimates up to 5.9% from earlier estimate of 5.7%. Last quarter's growth was likely the strongest since 3Q 2003.

Inventory accumulation was estimated to have added 3.9% to economic growth last quarter. The accumulation of course was necessitated by dwindling stockpiles in several previous years. There was also an upward revision to growth in real imports to 15.3%.

Price inflation remains quite tame following little to no inflation during the prior two quarters. Diminished price gains for all of last year pulled the annual increase down to 1.2% which is its weakest increase since the early 1960s.

Almost 6% annualized growth and inflation at 1%? Does it get any better? Well, all signs point to Q1 growth accelerating.