The U.S. Commerce Department released the Gross Domestic Product second estimate for the fourth quarter of 2011, where the economy expanded by 3.0 percent above median estimates and prior reading of 2.8 percent, as personal consumption increased by 2.1 percent, compared with the prior reading and median estimates and of 2.0 percent.

The GDP price index rose by 0.9 percent, compared with the prior and expected rise of 0.4 percent, while core PCE rose in the fourth quarter by 1.3 percent, above the prior and expected estimates of 1.1 percent.