This is a condensed version of a report from Econoday:
It turns out that the economy at the end of 2010 was about as strong as
most had expected all along. Fourth quarter GDP growth was bumped back
up to 3.1 percent annualized growth from the second estimate of 2.8
percent. The latest estimate came in slightly higher than the consensus
forecast for 3.0 percent. As with the prior estimate, the fourth
quarter was still stronger than the third quarter pace of 2.6 percent.
upward revision to fourth quarter growth primarily reflected stronger
inventory investment, nonresidential structures, equipment &
software, and residential investment. Downward revisions were seen in
net exports and government purchases.
The latest estimates for GDP and components indicate that the economy
had moderately strong forward momentum at the end of 2010. More recent
monthly numbers show overall momentum continuing but very mixed by
sector with manufacturing, export, and consumer sectors leading growth
and with housing, commercial real estate, and state & local
government sectors weighing on growth.
For an alternative perspective, John Williams at Shadow Government Stats made this observation:
BEA’s “Third” Guesstimate on Fourth-Quarter 2010 GDP Was Weaker Though Stronger. The
second-revision to the estimate of fourth-quarter 2010 GDP, though to
the upside, was largely statistical noise. To the extent the growth was
stronger (annualized 3.1% versus 2.8%), the news was not positive. It
reflected a downward revision to consumption with a more-than-offsetting
upside revision to inventory change. Unwanted inventory buildup
usually is offset at some point with lower production.
He also points out that "GDP reporting remains the least meaningful and most heavily
gimmicked/politicized of the major economic series, at least in the
first year or so of reporting. The next round of GDP annual benchmark
revisions, which should show downside revisions to recent economic
history, is due for publication on July 29th."