GDP report: Economy grew at 3.1% rate in Q4

chart_gdp_032511.top.gif By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The economy grew slightly faster at the end of 2010 than previously thought, according to a government release Friday.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, was revised higher to an annual growth rate of 3.1% in the three months ending in December.

The prior estimate had been for a 2.8% growth rate in the period.

While economists don't consider the three-tenths revision a major change, the report contained new information on strong corporate profits, which could be an encouraging sign for the job market going forward.

Company profits grew 9.7% during the quarter -- about twice what economists had been expecting.

"That's impressive when you have nominal GDP growth of only 3.1%," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist with Deutsche Bank. "To get that kind of corporate profit growth is impressive, and a good sign for 2011."

The government said consumer spending and exports helped drive the overall number higher in the fourth quarter, while budget cuts by state and local governments continued to hold growth back.

The Commerce Department calculates GDP as a measure of goods and services produced in the United States. The number is backward looking and is often revised multiple times. This is the third reading for the fourth quarter. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,098.45 18.88 0.11%
Nasdaq 4,580.27 22.58 0.50%
S&P 500 2,003.37 6.63 0.33%
Treasuries 2.34 0.01 0.39%
Data as of 2:51am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.09 0.08 0.50%
Apple Inc 102.50 0.25 0.24%
Intel Corp 34.92 0.27 0.78%
Facebook Inc 74.82 0.96 1.31%
General Electric Co 25.98 -0.03 -0.12%
Data as of Aug 29

Sections

Union organizers say that fast food workers will strike in more than 150 cities on Thursday. Workers want a $15 minimum wage and protection from retaliation by employers. More

Gas prices are falling to nearly $3 a gallon in some parts of South Carolina, and that will soon be common in much of the country. More

Celebrities' nude photos continue to get leaked on the Internet because of bad passwords and scams. More

The Coolest Cooler is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in the site's history, raising $13.3 million from over 62,000 backers. More

Five CNNMoney readers share stories about saving that you can learn from: What they would do differently if they had another chance. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.