Don’t get depressed. Look at both charts and remember that these figures are preliminary and will be adjusted at the end of this quarter.
The decline in real GDP growth in the fourth quarter reflected the following:
• Inventory investment turned down, mainly because of a decline in inventory investment in manufacturing industries.
• Federal government spending fell significantly, reflecting a downturn in defense spending (for more information, see the technical note).
• Net exports turned down, mainly reflecting a decrease in exports of goods; food, feeds, and beverage items as well as civilian aircraft, engines, and parts fell significantly.
In contrast, business investment turned up, as spending on equipment and software rebounded (mainly computers and related parts as well as transportation equipment). Consumer spending also picked up (mainly financial services as well as autos and parts).
Now look at the graph for the whole year, 2012:
Feel better. The whole of 2012 is still growth.