The US economy expanded by an eye-popping 5.7% pace in Q4 09, according to the government's initial estimate, the fastest in six years. The slower pace of de stocking, contributed about 3.4 percentage points to GDP. Consumer spending rose at a 2% clip, a bit better than expected, but off the 2.8% pace seen in Q3 09 that was boosted by the cash-for-clunker program.
Another highlight was business purchases of equipment and software, which rose at a 13% annual pace in Q4, the most in three years. However, this was largely offset by a 15% drop in commercial construction. That leaves total business investment up just shy of 3%. Residential construction fared better, rising at a 5.7% annualized pace, though slower than the 19% pace in Q3. Elsewhere note that net exports added 0.5% to GDP, while government spending shaved 0.2%.