Posts Tagged 'GDP'

New BEA Data Proves Valuable for Retail Industry

Jack_KleinhenzGuest blog post by Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D., Chief Economist, National Retail Federation

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.

The National Retail Federation closely monitors economic conditions in order to gauge the health of the overall industry and the consumers who represent nearly 70% of the national GDP. By having quarterly updates on the economic performance of 22 sectors, we will be better served when representing retailers and their needs as it relates to economic forecasts, labor markets and job reports, and much more.

Having higher frequency GDP data by industry will be extremely valuable in assessing current economic conditions and shaping economic forecasts. The new data series should provide reliable information on the changes in growth for specific industries, and offer insights into whether the growth is well-above, well-below, or average relative to overall GDP growth. In the past, the annual data could not provide perspective on the fits and starts in marketplace activity, so I am encouraged that a more detailed picture is now more accessible.

No modeling effort can accurately capture the dynamics and complexity of the U.S. economy nor consider all the variables. The difference now is that we don’t have to wait a year to find out how different industries are performing and contributing to the United States’ economic growth. This data will add to our toolkit for forecasting both short and long-term trends. Additionally, these quarterly reports will provide a better barometer of when an industry might be poised for a surge or a drop – otherwise known as turning points – that can possibly be a signal for the direction of the larger U.S. economy.

All in all, the access to this new statistical product will add to more informed decisions by all who need reliable and timely data on the performance of the economy.

New Quarterly Statistics Detail Industries’ Economic Performance

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released today – for the first time – gross domestic product (GDP) by industry for 22 industry sectors on a quarterly basis. These new statistics fill an important gap in U.S. federal economic statistics by providing timely information on how individual industries contributed to U.S. economic growth in a given quarter.

  • Real GDP increased 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, with both the private goods- and services- producing sectors contributing to the increase. Overall, 15 out of 22 industry groups contributed to economic growth. The leading contributors to the increase were nondurable-goods manufacturing; professional, scientific and technical services; and wholesale trade.


  • Growth in real GDP in the fourth quarter decelerated from 4.1 percent in the third to 2.6 percent in the fourth. The deceleration reflected a slowdown in the private services-producing sector and a larger decrease in the government sector that was partly offset by a pickup in growth in the goods-producing sector.
  • Overall, 17 out of 22 industry groups contributed to the slowdown in real GDP growth. The leading contributors to the slowdown were real estate, rental, and leasing; construction; and retail trade.

QuarterlyGDP2_4_25_14 Read the full report

GDP Growth Slows In Fourth Quarter

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth rate was 0.2 percentage point more than the “second” estimate released in February. In the third quarter, the growth rate was 4.1 percent.

Fourth-quarter GDP highlightsGDP_4q_3rd_2013
Consumer spending rose 3.3 percent, the highest since the fourth quarter of 2010, reflecting spending on housing and utilities, health care, and food services and accommodations. In the  third quarter, consumer spending rose 2.0 percent. Exports also accelerated in the fourth quarter.

These accelerations were more than offset, however, by a downturn in inventory investment, a  larger decrease in federal government spending, and a downturn in housing investment.

GDP revisions
The upward revision to real GDP growth reflected the incorporation of newly available source data. Consumer spending was revised up (mainly services), while business investment (mainly intellectual property products) and inventory investment were revised down.

Personal income and personal saving
Real disposable personal income (DPI)—personal income adjusted for inflation and taxes—increased 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 3.0 percent in the third quarter. Personal saving as a percent of DPI was 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 4.9 percent in the third quarter.

Fourth-quarter corporate profitsCorpProfits4q_2013
Profits grew 2.2 percent at a quarterly rate, compared with 1.9 percent in the third quarter.
Profits of nonfinancial corporations rose 1.5 percent, profits of financial corporations rose 1.3 percent, and profits from the rest of the world rose 5.5 percent.

Annual corporate profits
In 2013, corporate profits rose 4.6 percent at an annual rate, compared with 7.0 percent in 2012. Profits of nonfinancial corporations rose 5.2 percent, profits of financial corporations rose 8.2 percent, and profits from the rest of the world fell 0.7 percent.

Read the full report.