US growth drops to 3.2 per cent in fourth quarter

Huge US data release today.

The big number is the fourth quarter GDP growth stat, down from 4.1 per cent to 3.2 per cent, on an annualised basis. That's bang in line with the consensus forecast.

Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics, says that the broad picture is one of diminishing fiscal drag, and as such "US economic growth is accelerating."

On the consumer spending front, the fourth quarter saw the biggest jump in three years.

Initial jobless claims were always going to be a bit odd this week, as a result of the Martin Luther King holiday.

They've come in at 348,000 for the week to 25 January, up from last week's 326,000. Analysts had been expecting a smaller rise to 330,000.

Gold values took a dive five minutes prior to the release. Silver also saw falls, dropping by more than three per cent.