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Advance Estimate: GDP Increases at 3.2% in Fourth Quarter

Real gross domestic product - the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the U.S. - increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the advance estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.

Real GDP increased 2.9 percent in 2010 (that is, from the 2009 annual level to the 2010 annual level), in contrast to a decrease of 2.6 percent in 2009.

The Bureau emphasized that the fourth-quarter advance estimate released is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. The second estimate for the fourth quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on Feb. 25, 2011.

The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

The acceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected a sharp downturn in imports, an acceleration in PCE, and an upturn in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by downturns in private inventory investment and in federal government spending and a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment.

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