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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Wells Fargo's Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary- March 2nd, 2012

- Economic growth was revised modestly higher for the fourth quarter to a 3.0% annual rate, as personal consumption grew at a 2.1% pace and final sales rose 1.1%, up from the initial estimate of just 0.8%.

- Personal income came in slightly below expectations, but upward revisions to previously published data put the savings rate at 4.6% in January, well above the earlier reported 4.0%.

- Consumer confidence jumped 9.3 points to 70.8, the highest it has been since February of last year, although the survey was taken prior to the most recent spike in gasoline prices.

- Durable goods orders posted a sharper-than-expected 4.0% drop in January following a 3.2% rise in December, indicating business fixed investment will likely be relatively soft in the first quarter.

- Weaker factory orders and shipments data, combined with a 0.1% drop in real personal consumption outlays, caused us to slightly reduce our forecast for first quarter GDP growth to a 1.5% annual pace and our outlook for 2012 to 1.9%.

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