Friday, April 27, 2012

Real GDP increased 2.2% annual rate in Q1

by Bill McBride on 4/27/2012 08:44:00 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 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012 (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, private inventory investment, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal government spending, nonresidential fixed investment, and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The deceleration in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected a deceleration in private inventory investment and a downturn in nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by accelerations in PCE and in exports.
GDP Forecast
Click on graph for larger image.

A few key numbers:
• Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.9 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 2.1 percent in the fourth.

• Investment growth slowed, except residential investment: "Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 2.1 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 5.2 percent in the fourth. Nonresidential structures decreased 12.0 percent, compared with a decrease of 0.9 percent. Equipment and software increased 1.7 percent, compared with an increase of 7.5 percent. Real residential fixed investment increased 19.1 percent, compared with an increase of 11.6 percent."

• Government spending continued to be a drag at all levels, but at a slower pace: "Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 5.6 percent in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 6.9 percent in the fourth. ... Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 1.2 percent, compared with a decrease of 2.2 percent."

This was below expectations. I'll have more on GDP later ...

Last 10 Posts