The United States has revised an official estimate of how the economy fared in the fourth quarter of 2015, reflecting stronger-than-expected consumer spending amid a tightening labor market and rising housing prices.
Economy growth in the US slowed from October to December last year, although the dip wasn’t as dramatic as originally thought, the Commerce Department said on Friday.
As the government’s economists revised an initial estimate to show growth of 1.4 percent compared to the same period last year rather than 0.7 percent, they said fairly robust consumer spending was to thank.
That’s significant because the money spent by ordinary citizens on goods and services accounts for more than two-thirds of all economic activity in the US. When consumer spending is up, it underscores broader economic health.
At the moment, Americans are opening their wallets due to favorable labor market conditions (read: low unemployment) and rising house prices, both of which allow for more disposable income.
Experts have noted that the upward revision should allay some fears of a recession, a scenario that made some investors nervous earlier this year, leading to a massive stock market sell-off.
cjc/kd (Reuters, AFP)