Archive for February, 2014

GDP Growth Decelerates in Fourth Quarter

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth rate was 0.8 percentage point less than the “advance” estimate released in January. In the third quarter, the growth rate was 4.1 percent.

gdp1Fourth-quarter GDP highlights
The slowdown in real GDP growth reflected a slowdown in inventory investment. GDP less inventory investment (final sales of domestic product) rose 2.3 percent, almost as much as the 2.5 percent growth in the third quarter.

Also contributing to the slowdown: a larger decrease in federal government spending and downturns in housing investment and in state and local government spending.

In contrast, exports, consumer spending, and business investment each accelerated.

Fourth-quarter revisions
The revision to real GDP growth reflected the incorporation of newly available, higher quality source data. The following were revised down:

• Consumer spending on both goods and services; the revisions were widespread.
• Inventory investment, led by wholesale trade industries.
• Exports, mainly nonautomotive capital goods and consumer goods.
• State and local government spending, mainly investment in structures.

In contrast, business investment was revised up, mainly in equipment and in software.

gdp2Annual GDP highlights
For the full year 2013, real GDP increased 1.9 percent, the same as the previous estimate. In 2012, the growth rate was 2.8 percent.

• Business investment slowed, reflecting slower growth in structures (mainly power and communication) and in equipment (mainly transportation).
• Federal government spending declined more in 2013 than in 2012.
• Consumer spending on services slowed.

In contrast, imports slowed, state and local government spending declined less, and consumer spending on goods accelerated.

For more on GDP, read the full report.

BEA Readies 2014 Rollout of New Economic Statistics

BEA is releasing several new statistical products this year, part of an ongoing effort to better measure the dynamic U.S. economy and give businesses, policymakers and ordinary Americans additional tools to make informed decisions. Each report will be released at 8:30 a.m. eastern time on the date indicated.

REAL PERSONAL INCOME FOR STATE AND METROPOLITAN AREAS
• Annual report covers 2012 back to 2008
• Release date: April 24
• Report provides statistics on people’s incomes adjusted for inflation and broken out by state and metro area
• Adjusting regional personal income data for differences in the cost of consumer goods and services provides insight into the relative purchasing power of consumers in different states and metro areas
• BEA has previously released prototype statistics of this kind. This year, for the first time, BEA will start releasing annual reports on a regular basis

QUARTERLY GDP BY INDUSTRY
• Quarterly report covers the fourth quarter of 2013 back to the first quarter of 2005. Report also provides annual statistics for 2013
• Release date: April 25
• Statistics show how much how much economic activity is generated by different industries and how much individual industries contributed to overall U.S. economic growth
• For the first time, BEA is releasing GDP by industry statistics on a quarterly basis. Previously, these statistics were available only annually
• Quarterly statistics will provide a more timely snapshot of how individual industries are faring and can serve as a better barometer for potential turning points in the U.S. economy

PERSONAL CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURES BY STATE
• Annual report covers 2012 back to 1997
• Release date: Aug. 7
• Prototype statistic, meaning refinements in methodology may be made before this becomes a regular BEA product
• BEA, for the first time, will produce annual statistics on consumer spending broken out by state. Currently, BEA provides consumer spending figures only on the national level
• These statistics will offer for the first time a detailed look at consumer behavior in each of the country’s 50 states. Report will provide a gauge of how consumers in different states are faring, offering a richer picture of economic activity across entire United States

QUARTERLY GDP BY STATE
• Quarterly report covers the fourth quarter of 2013 back to the first quarter of 2007
• Release date: Aug. 20
• Prototype statistic, meaning refinements in methodology may be made before this becomes a regular BEA product
• BEA, for the first time, will produce quarterly statistics showing overall economic activity generated by each state as well as the main forces either supporting or restraining growth. Currently, BEA provides GDP-by-state statistics only at the national level
• These statistics will offer a more up-to-date picture of how states’ economies are faring and will provide a more detailed view of economic activity across the entire United States. The statistics will also serve as a better barometer for potential turning points for the overall U.S. economy

December 2013 Trade Gap is $38.7 Billion

The U.S. monthly international trade deficit increased in December 2013 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. The deficit increased from $34.6 billion in November (revised) to $38.7 billion in December as exports decreased and imports increased. The previously published November deficit was $34.3 billion. The goods deficit increased $4.6 billion from November to $58.8 billion in December; the services surplus increased $0.4 billion from November to $20.1 billion in December.trade

Exports
Exports of goods and services decreased $3.5 billion in December to $191.3 billion, reflecting a decrease in exports of goods. Exports of services increased.
• The decrease in exports of goods reflected decreases in industrial supplies and materials, in capital goods, in other goods, in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines, and in consumer goods.
• The increase in exports of services reflected increases in travel, in passenger fares, and in other transportation, which includes freight and port services.

Imports
Imports of goods and services increased $0.6 billion in December to $230.0 billion, reflecting increases in imports of both goods and services.
• The increase in imports of goods reflected increases in consumer goods, in industrial supplies and materials, and in other goods that were partly offset by decreases in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines, and in capital goods.
• The increase in imports of services reflected increases in travel and in passenger fares that were partly offset by a decrease in other transportation.

Goods by geographic area (not seasonally adjusted)
• The goods deficit with the European Union increased from $10.1 billion in November to $11.3 billion in December. Exports decreased $2.0 billion to $20.9 billion, and imports decreased $0.8 billion to $32.2 billion.
• The goods deficit with China decreased from $26.9 billion in November to $24.5 billion in December. Exports decreased $0.1 billion to $13.1 billion, and imports decreased $2.6 billion to $37.6 billion.
• The goods deficit with Canada increased from $1.5 billion in November to $3.4 billion in December. Exports decreased $2.4 billion to $23.3 billion, and imports decreased $0.5 billion to $26.7 billion.

To learn more about U.S. international trade in goods and services, read the full report.