The US economy grew by 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014
Washington - AFP
The US economy expanded more slowly than thought in the 2014 fourth quarter, pressured by a smaller rise in inventories and a larger increase in imports, revised data showed Friday.
The Commerce Department said gross domestic product grew 2.2 percent in the final quarter last year, revising lower its previous 2.6 percent estimate.
The downward revision on GDP expansion was slightly better than expectations of a 2.1 percent gain after the third quarter's robust 5.0 percent pace.
According to newly available economic data, the modest fourth-quarter growth mainly reflected a smaller increase in inventory investment and a higher level of imports, which subtract from GDP, the department said.
Despite falling energy prices that could boost consumer spending, the weakness of the global economy and the dollar's strength weighed on the country's trade balance. Exports rose only 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, after a 4.5 percent gain in the third and an 11.1 percent jump in the second.
Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of US economic activity, was the main driver of growth, rising 4.2 percent, a four-year high. The spending contributed about 2.8 percentage points to fourth-quarter growth, the largest share in nearly 10 years.