Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2014 Contents A27
Thursday, July 31, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
WASHINGTON---Fueled by health-
ier consumer spending, the US
economy grew in the second half
of last year at the strongest pace
in a decade and more than previ-
ously estimated, new government
Revised data released yesterday
also suggest a possible factor behind
the pickup: Americans saved much
more in 2012 than previously
thought, leaving more to spend in
The economy grew at an annual
rate of 4.5 per cent in last year s
third quarter, up from a previous
estimate of 4.1 per cent.
Growth was 3.5 per cent in the
fourth quarter, up from 2.6 per
cent. The average 4 per cent annual
pace was the best six-month show-
ing since 2003.
For 2013 as a whole, the economy
expanded 2.2 per cent, up from the
previous estimate of 1.9 per cent.
The government s newly revised
figures show that growth was accel-
erating before harsh weather in the
first quarter contributed to a sharp
And growth rebounded to a
robust 4 per cent annual rate in
the April-June quarter, the govern-
ment said yesterday. The figures
indicate that the 2.1 per cent con-
traction in the first quarter was an
aberration. That number was
revised higher from a previous
reading of a 2.9 per cent contrac-
The better growth readings also
suggest that this year s healthy hir-
ing trend will continue. Previously,
the job gains in the first six months
of this year were much stronger
than the economic growth figures.
Now they are more closely aligned.
Still, growth was weaker in 2011
and 2012 than the government had
previously estimated, the revisions
show. Overall, the growth trend
since the Great Recession was little
changed by the government s
updates. The new figures show that
growth has averaged 2.3 per cent
at an annual rate from the end of
the recession in June 2009 through
last year. That s a scant downgrade
from the previous estimate of 2.4
The economy expanded just 2.3
per cent in 2012, down from a pre-
vious estimate of 2.8 per cent. And
growth in 2011 was marked down
to 1.6 per cent from 1.8 per cent.
The changes stem from a com-
prehensive revision the government
conducts each year to the nation s
gross domestic product data. GDP,
the broadest measure of the econ-
omy s output of goods and services,
includes everything from restaurant
meals to television production to
steel manufacturing. Most of the
changes were made to the previous
three years figures.
The revisions are based on
updated data from agencies such
as the Census Bureau and the Inter-
nal Revenue Service. Many monthly
surveys of consumer spending,
manufacturing and retail businesses
are updated with more compre-
hensive annual reports.
Newly available tax data showed
that Americans earned more than
was previously thought in 2012.
Personal income, after taxes and
adjusted for inflation, grew 3 per
cent that year, much higher than
the previous estimate of 2 per cent.
But the bulk of that gain likely
went to wealthier Americans. Most
of the upward revision resulted
from a sharp increase in interest
and dividend payments.
Business income was also revised
higher. Wealthier Americans own
the vast majority of stocks and
other financial assets. (AP)
US grew faster in second half of 2013
The new figures show that growth has
averaged 2.3 per cent at an annual rate
from the end of the recession in June 2009
through last year. That's a scant downgrade
from the previous estimate of 2.4 per cent.
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