WASHINGTON (AP) — Fueled by healthier consumer spending, the U.S. economy grew in the second half of last year at the strongest pace in a decade and more than previously estimated, new government data show.
The revised data also suggest a possible factor behind the pickup: Americans saved much more in 2012 than previously thought, leaving more to spend in 2013.
The economy grew at an annual rate of 4.5 percent in last year's third quarter, up from a previous estimate of 4.1 percent. Growth was 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 2.6 percent. The average 4 percent annual pace was the best six-month showing since 2003.
The government's newly revised figures show that growth was accelerating before harsh weather in the first quarter contributed to a sharp contraction.