Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.0 percent.
The fourth-quarter increase in real GDP mainly reflected an increase in consumer spending. Spending on services increased, notably on health care. Spending on durable goods also increased— notably on recreational goods and vehicles—as did spending on nondurable goods.
Residential investment and federal government spending also contributed to real GDP growth.
Partly offsetting these contributions, inventory investment, exports, and business investment each declined. In addition, imports, a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.
Prices of goods and services purchased by U.S. residents increased 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 1.3 percent in the third quarter. Excluding energy and food, prices rose 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter and 1.3 percent in the third quarter.
Personal income and personal saving
Real disposable personal income—personal income adjusted for taxes and inflation—rose 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter after rising 3.8 percent in the third quarter. Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 5.2 percent in the third quarter.
Annual GDP growth
For the year 2015, real GDP increased 2.4 percent, the same as in 2014.
- Consumer spending was the largest contributor to growth. Spending increased on services, notably healthcare, as well as durable and nondurable goods.
- Business investment, residential investment inventory investment, state and local government spending, and exports also increased.
- Imports, a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased, partly offsetting the contributions to growth.
Prices of goods and services purchased by U.S residents increased 0.3 percent in 2015, compared with a 1.5 percent increase in 2014. Excluding food and energy, prices rose 1.0 percent in 2015 after rising 1.6 percent in 2014.
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