GDP Increases in Fourth Quarter

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth rate was the same in the “second” estimate released in February. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 5.0 percent.

Fourth-quarter GDP highlightsQ2Q March27
Consumer spending more than accounted for the increase in GDP, rising 4.4 percent, compared with 3.2 percent in the third quarter. Consumer spending on both goods and services increased in the fourth quarter.

Other contributors to growth:

  • Business investment increased, notably in intellectual property products.
  • Exports of goods and services increased; foods, feeds, and beverages was the largest contributor.

Offsetting the contributions to growth:

  • Imports of goods and services increased, notably of consumer goods (except food and autos) as well as petroleum and   products.
  • Federal government spending on national defense declined.

Fourth-quarter revisions
While the third estimate of real GDP growth was the same as the second estimate, several components were revised. Exports of services were revised up, mainly in travel. Consumer spending was also revised up, notably in health care. Inventory investment was revised down.

For more information, see the technical note.

Fourth-quarter corporate profitsQ2Q Corporate Profits March27
Profits fell 1.4 percent at a quarterly rate, after rising 3.1 percent in the third quarter.

Profits of nonfinancial corporations rose 1.4 percent, profits of financial corporations fell 2.7 percent, and profits from the rest of the world fell 8.8 percent.

Annual corporate profits
During 2014, corporate profits fell 0.8 percent, after rising 4.2 percent during 2013.

Profits of nonfinancial corporations rose 2.8 percent, profits of financial corporations fell 8.4 percent, and profits from the rest of the world fell 2.2 percent.

For more, see the full report.


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