Page last updated at 19:18 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

US economic growth revised down

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Wall Street is keen for further signs of a recovery in Main Street

US economic growth has been revised down to an annualised rate of 5.6% for the fourth quarter of 2009, official figures show.

This is the rate of economic growth for the three months that assumes the same level for a full 12 months.

It was revised down from 5.9%, in the US Commerce Department's third estimate of fourth-quarter GDP.

The main factors behind the revision were weaker personal and government consumption, and lower investment.

The figure is significantly up on the 2.2% annualised rate of growth seen in the third quarter and is the strongest reported since the third quarter of 2003.

The Commerce Department said that the acceleration in inflation-adjusted growth or "real GDP" was chiefly due to a slowdown in the rate at which business drew down on its inventories. But there were other factors.

"The pickup in real GDP also reflects rebounds in business investment in equipment and software and in net exports," the Commerce Department said.

There was muted response to the revision on the US markets however.

Half way through trading on Friday, New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average was up just 8 points, or 0.07%, while the broader S&P 500 was almost unchanged.

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