The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised down its estimate of fourth quarter gross domestic product growth Friday, from 3.2 percent on an annual basis in the first estimate to 2.4 percent.

Analysts expected a slightly smaller downward revision.

The difference was mostly reductions in the BEA's estimates of consumer spending, business inventories added, government outlays, and exports. Business investment was marked up.

Friday's release also included a measure of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures price index, that most economists think of as more accurate than the more commonly-cited consumer price index. In the fourth quarter of 2013, PCE inflation rose just 1 percent, well below the Federal Reserve's goal of 2 percent. Core PCE inflation was higher at 1.3 percent.

Investors and policymakers have expressed hopes for a stronger recovery in 2014. Fed chair Janet Yellen, for instance, has said that she looks for a rate of growth above the 3 percent line this year.