Archive for the 'GDP' Category

GDP Declines in First Quarter

GDP_5_29_14 Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased 1.0 percent in the first quarter of 2014, according to the “second” estimate released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2013, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.

First-quarter GDP highlights
The decline in real GDP was more than accounted for by a significant decline in inventory investment, notably by motor vehicle dealerships. In fact, GDP less inventory investment (real final sales of domestic product) rose 0.6 percent in the first quarter.

Declines in exports, in business investment, in state and local government spending, and in housing investment also contributed to the decrease in first-quarter real GDP.

In contrast, consumer spending increased, notably in health care and in home utilities.

 First-quarter real GDP growth was revised down 1.1 percentage points from the advance estimate released in April, based on newly available source data.

  • Inventory investment was revised down, mainly in retail trade, in manufacturing, and in mining, utilities, and construction.
  • Imports were revised up, notably in foods, feeds, and beverages and in petroleum and related products. Partly offsetting this revision, exports were also revised up, notably in nonautomotive capital goods and in automotive vehicles, engines, and parts.

Corporate profitsProfits_5_29_14
BEA’s featured measure of corporate profits declined 9.8 percent in the first quarter, after increasing  2.2 percent in the previous quarter. The  decline was the largest since the fourth quarter of  2008.

  •  Profits of nonfinancial corporations fell 8.1  percent after rising 1.5 percent.
  • Profits of financial corporations fell 15.0 percent  after rising 1.3 percent.
  • Profits from the rest of the world fell 9.1 percent after rising 5.5 percent.

Over the last 4 quarters, corporate profits fell 3.0 percent.

Read the full report.

GDP Growth Slows in First Quarter

GDP_4_30_14 Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014, according to the “advance” estimate released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2013, the growth rate was 2.6 percent.

First-quarter GDP highlights
The slowdown in real GDP growth reflected:

  • A downturn in exports. Exports of industrial supplies and materials as well as foods, feeds, and beverages declined after increasing in the fourth quarter.
  • A downturn in business investment. Spending on transportation equipment fell after rising significantly in the fourth quarter. Spending on computers and peripherals also turned down.
  • A larger decrease in inventory investment. Inventory investment by retail trade companies (mainly motor vehicles dealers) declined significantly after an increase in the fourth quarter.
  • A slowdown in consumer spending, mainly in nondurable goods, notably clothing and footwear as well as food and beverages. These movements were partly offset by faster growth in utilities and healthcare.

In contrast, federal government spending turned up, and imports declined after increasing in the fourth quarter.

Personal income and personal saving
Real disposable personal income (DPI)–personal income adjusted for inflation and taxes–increased 1.9 percent in the first quarter, compared with 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Personal saving as a percent of current -dollar DPI was 4.1 percent, compared with 4.3 percent.

First-quarter prices
GDP_Prices_4_30_14Prices of goods and services bought by U.S. residents rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter, after rising 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Both energy prices and food prices turned up.

Excluding food and energy, prices increased 1.4 percent in the first quarter after rising 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

Read the full report

New Commerce Data Supports Better Economic Decision-Making by Businesses and Policymakers

This week, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released two new data products that will help American businesses, consumers, policymakers and academia gain important information about the performance of the U.S. economy.

Yesterday, BEA released inflation-adjusted estimates of personal income for states and metropolitan areas, which are being released for the first time as official statistics. Americans looking to move or take a job anywhere in the country can now compare these inflation-adjusted incomes to better understand how their personal income may be affected by a job change or move. In addition, businesses looking to relocate or establish new facilities can use this data to get a comprehensive and consistent measure of differences in the cost of living and the purchasing power of consumers nationwide.

Also for the first time, BEA today released quarterly estimates of the economic activity generated by 22 industries – including manufacturing, construction, finance, transportation, retail, health care, educational services, and the arts. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data – one of our government’s most valuable data resources – shows how different industries helped or hindered the U.S. economy’s growth in a given quarter. These new statistics will enable industries in all sectors to better measure their contributions to GDP and understand and identify emerging trends more quickly. This economic intelligence can help make businesses more competitive and innovative, as well as guide their decisions about investing and hiring.

In fact, Ken Simonson, the chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America, finds that “As construction gradually rebounds from a historic downturn, it is especially useful to have timely estimates of how the sector is contributing to overall economic growth. Having data on all major industries will provide a valuable indicator of where demand for future construction will come from. Getting historical data will help identify possible turning points in growth and interconnections between sectors.”

In addition, David Huether, Senior Vice President of Research at the U.S. Travel Association, states that “By regularly producing Gross Domestic Product by Industry on a quarterly basis, the Bureau of Economic Analysis is taking a historic step forward and proving once again the vital role that the BEA plays in measuring the U.S. economy. For the first time ever, economists, researchers, policy makers and the general public will now be able to understand in a comprehensive fashion how different industries are performing on a high-frequency basis and contributing to our country’s economic output.”

The Commerce Department’s ‘Open for Business Agenda’ prioritizes unleashing more data and making it more accessible so it can catalyze the emergence of new businesses, products, and services. Commerce data enable start-ups, move markets, and power both small and multi-billion dollar companies.

BEA’s new data products are the latest example of how Commerce is working to produce innovative, timely and relevant statistics that serve as a crucial tool for policy-makers at the local, state and national level.