U.S. gross domestic product grew 3% in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Department of Commerce's third and final report for the quarter. That figure is consistent with the department's second estimate for the period. 

GDP is a measure of the nation's total output of goods and services. Comparatively, real GDP for the third quarter increased 1.8%.

The Commerce Department attributes GDP gains in the period to personal consumption expenditures, nonresidential fixed-investment, exports and residential fixed investment. Positive gains were somewhat offset by federal and state and local government spending, the government said.

In addition, real gross domestic income – which measures income levels from all sectors of the economy – grew 4.4% in the fourth quarter, compared to an increase of 2.6% in 3Q.

Analyzing GDP, Econoday analysts said, "the economy in the fourth quarter was essentially as earlier believed, except domestic demand was modestly stronger. For its final estimate, the Commerce Department kept fourth quarter GDP growth at 3%, matching the second estimate for the overall number. The median market forecast was for an unrevised 3%. The latest quarter was stronger than the 1.8% rise in the third quarter."