The gross domestic product rose 0.1 percent quarter-on-quarter during the fourth quarter compared with economists' expectations for a 0.1 percent contraction. The third quarter growth rate was upwardly revised to 0.3 percent from the 0.2 percent expansion estimated earlier.
Annually, GDP rose 1.3 percent, faster than the 1.1 percent growth expected by economists. This followed an upwardly revised 1.6 percent growth for the third quarter.
On the expenditure side, consumer spending grew at a faster quarterly pace of 0.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. On the other hand, total private domestic investment declined 7.9 percent after the 5.3 percent increase in the previous period.
Exports of goods and services rose 1.2 percent from the preceding three months, while imports fell 1.9 percent. The positive trade outcome defied external headwinds faced by the economy, particularly from the Eurozone debt crisis.