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.

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