The economic news about both last quarter and last week is on the positive side:
— The Bureau of Economic Analysis says the economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, a bit better than its previous estimate that gross domestic product had expanded at a 2.4 percent pace.
Consumer spending was a little stronger than had been thought, Reuters says. It calls the GDP report a sign of “underlying strength.” The economy has grown for 11 straight quarters.
— The Employment and Training Administration says there were 311,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week, down 10,000 from the week before. Claims touched their lowest level since late November.
According to Bloomberg News, the decline is “a sign companies are confident in the outlook for demand” and are less likely to lay off employees.