The U.S. economy is showing signs of sustained strengthening, with gross domestic product growing 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the Department of Commerce's preliminary assessment.
GDP, the broadest measure of goods and services output, grew 4.1 percent in the third quarter.
The economy was bolstered by exports, state and local government spending, and consumer spending. Even though wages are stagnant, people are feeling wealthier as home and stock values rise.
Real exports of goods and services increased 11.4 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 3.9 percent in the third quarter. Imports, which are subtracted from GDP because they are not a function of domestic production, increased 0.9 percent, compared with an increase of 2.4 percent in the third quarter.
Inventory investment slowed from the third quarter, the Commerce Department said.