The U.S. government is set to slash its estimate of fourth-quarter growth as exports and restocking by businesses were less robust than previously thought, leaving the economy on a more familiar path of modest expansion.
Gross domestic product growth will probably be lowered to a 2.5 percent annual rate, according to a Reuters poll of economists. That would be down sharply from the 3.2 percent pace reported last month and the 4.1 percent logged in the third quarter.
"The revision to the GDP number will better reflect the underlying economic trend because the increases in inventories and exports that massively lifted growth in the second half of the year were simply not sustainable," said Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Research in New York.
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The Commerce Department will release its fresh estimate of fourth-quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday.