Friday, October 29, 2010

Q3 Advance Report: Real Annualized GDP Grew at 2.0%

by Bill McBride on 10/29/2010 08:30:00 AM

From the BEA:

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2010, (that is, from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
GDP Growth Rate Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the quarterly GDP growth (at an annual rate) for the last 30 years. The dashed line is the median growth rate of 3.05%. The current recovery is very weak - the 2nd half slowdown continues.

A few key numbers:

  • "The change in real private inventories added 1.44 percentage points to the third-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.82 percentage point to the second-quarter change. Private businesses increased inventories $115.5 billion in the third quarter, following increases of $68.8 billion in the second quarter and $44.1 billion in the first."

    Without the boost in inventories, GDP would have been barely positive in Q3.

  • "Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.6 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.2 percent in the second."

    This was a little stronger than expected, and PCE will probably slow over the next couple of quarters.

  • Investment: Nonresidential structures increased 3.9 percent, equipment and software increased 12.0 percent and real residential fixed investment decreased 29.1 percent.

    As expected, residential investment declined sharply after the Q2 tax credit boost.

    Overall this was a weak report and will not derail QE2 next wednesday (further easing from the Fed).

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