Good news out this morning from the Bureau of Economic Analysis: The second revision to the third quarter GDP number shows that the economy expanded at a rate of 2.1 percent. The first estimate for that figure had been a somewhat disappointing 1.5 percent.
The upward revision to GDP was primarily caused by an upward revision to private inventory investment. American business' investment in their inventories declined in the third quarter - but by a much smaller margin than was previously estimated. Businesses accumulated $90.2 billion worth of inventory in the third quarter, instead of the $56.8 billion reported last month.
Some downward movement: Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, grew at a 3.0 percent rate, down from the 3.2 percent rate estimated last month. Growth in exports was also revised downward, to a slower 0.9 percent rate of increase.