US economic growth was boosted in the fourth quarter of 2015 by better consumer spending and exports
Washington - AFP
The US economy grew faster than first estimated at the end of 2015, expanding at a rate of 1.4 percent, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
In an encouraging reassessment of the world's largest economy in the September-December period, consumer spending and exports were both stronger than previously thought.
But still holding back gains was weak business investment in inventories, the main reason for the deceleration from the 2.0 percent growth pace of last year's third quarter.
The previous estimate for the fourth quarter was just 1.0 percent. For the full year the US economy grew 2.4 percent, the same pace as 2014, with the negative impact of the strong dollar on exports, and the energy industry crunch after the collapse of oil prices, both limiting gains.
The Commerce Department also reported that US corporate profits plunged 11.5 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, representing $245 billion less in gains.
The key factor was the impact of low oil and gas prices on the energy industry, forcing huge cutbacks in spending, the layoff of tens of thousands of workers, and driving numerous companies into bankruptcy.
For the year, corporate profits were down 3.1 percent, or $64 billion, from 2014.