The BEA’s third of estimate Q4 GDP left growth unchanged at 2.2% (q/q saar). Private consumption growth was revised up two-tenths, to 4.4%, with the details of PCE showing upward revisions to goods and services consumption.“We had expected a larger upward revision to consumption based on the details of the Quarterly Services Survey, and this factor is what accounted for the miss in headline GDP relative to our expectation.” said Barclays Capital in a report on Friday.Elsewhere, exports are now estimated to have grown 4.5% (second estimate: 3.2%), versus import growth of 10.4% (second estimate: 10.1%). Better growth in imports, as a result of the strong dollar and a healthy US consumer, meant the net trade balance trimmed headline growth by 1.0pp (second estimate: -1.2pp). Offsetting this was private inventories, now estimated to have grown $80.0bn, versus $88.4bn in the second estimate, meaning inventory accumulation now pulled growth lower by 0.1pp in the quarter, versus a modest 0.1pp positive contribution previously.“The latest data on Q4 real GDP confirm that private consumption received a significant windfall from lower energy prices in Q4, and we expect this tailwind to continue into the early part of this year (although this may not be fully evident in Q1 due to the effect of adverse weather).We maintain our outlook for Q1 and Q2 15 GDP growth of 1.5% and 3.0%, respectively, with some activity pushed into Q2 on account of weather effects.” Barclays added.

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