US economic growth revised upwards for end for 2010

Worker on car production line
Image caption Despite the revision, economists believe growth could be slower in the first quarter of 2011.

The US economy grew faster than first thought in the final months of 2010, according to the Commerce Department.

Growth figures for the fourth quarter of 2010 have been revised upward to 3.1% from the 2.8% previously reported.

The rise was put down to more companies re-stocking and buying more plant and equipment than was believed.

Economists will welcome the news, although the economy is expected show slower growth in the first quarter of 2011, in part due to higher oil prices.

For the final three months of 2010, consumer spending grew at an annual rate of 4%, the strongest quarter for four years.

Residential construction was growing at an annual rate of 3.3% in the final three months of the year after plunging at a 27.3% rate in the July-September quarter.

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