Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BEA: Real GDP increased at 0.2% Annualized Rate in Q1

by Bill McBride on 4/29/2015 08:30:00 AM

From the BEA: Gross Domestic Product: First Quarter 2015 (Advance Estimate)

Real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes -- increased at an annual rate of 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.
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The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and private inventory investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from exports, 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 growth in the first quarter reflected a deceleration in PCE, downturns in exports, in nonresidential fixed investment, and in state and local government spending, and a deceleration in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a deceleration in imports and upturns in private inventory investment and in federal government spending.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, decreased 1.5 percent in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 0.1 percent in the fourth. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.3 percent, compared with an increase of 0.7 percent.

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 1.9 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 4.4 percent in the fourth.
The advance Q1 GDP report, with 0.2% annualized growth, was below expectations of a 1.0% increase.

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased at a 1.9% annualized rate.

The key negatives were trade (subtracted 1.25 percentage point) and investment in nonresidential structures (subtracted 0.75 percentage points). Trade was impacted by the West Coast port issues, and the decline in nonresidential structures was probably due to bad weather and less investment in oil and gas.