AP: Brisk 5.9 Percent Growth in Q4 Will Likely Fade

The growth "isn't expected to carry over into this year"

What a surprise....

Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The economy rocketed ahead at a 5.9 percent pace in the final quarter of 2009, stronger than initially estimated. But the growth spurt isn't expected to carry over into this year.

The fresh reading on the nation's economic standing, released by the Commerce Department on Friday, was better than the government's initial estimate a month ago of 5.7 percent growth. It would mark the strongest showing in six years.
Even so, it didn't change the expectation of much slower economic activity in the current January-to-March quarter.

Adding to that picture was a separate report Friday that sales of previously occupied homes fell sharply in January for the second straight month, to their lowest point since summer. The results were far worse than forecast. They are another sign the housing market's recovery is faltering.

Roughly two-thirds of last quarter's GDP growth came from a burst of manufacturing — but not because consumer demand was especially strong. In fact, consumer spending weakened at the end of the year, even more than the government first thought.
Instead, factories were churning out goods for businesses that had let their stockpiles dwindle to save cash. If consumer spending remains lackluster as expected, that burst of manufacturing — and its contribution to economic activity — will fade.