Thursday, October 27, 2011

Advance Estimate: Real Annualized GDP Grew at 2.5% in Q3

by Bill McBride on 10/27/2011 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 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011 (that is, from the second quarter to the third quarter) according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The acceleration in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected accelerations in PCE and in nonresidential fixed investment and a smaller decrease in state and local government spending that were partly offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment.
The following graph shows the quarterly GDP growth (at an annual rate) for the last 30 years. The dashed line is the current growth rate. Growth in Q2 at 2.5% annualized was below trend growth (around 3%) - and very weak for a recovery, especially with all the slack in the system.

Click on graph for larger image.

A few key numbers:
• Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.4 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 0.7 percent in the second.

• Change in private inventories subtracted 1.08 percentage point.

• Investment: "Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 16.3 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 10.3 percent in the second. Nonresidential structures increased 13.3 percent, compared with an increase of 22.6 percent. Equipment and software increased 17.4 percent, compared with an increase of 6.2 percent. Real residential fixed investment increased 2.4 percent, compared with an increase of 4.2 percent.."

I'll have much more later today ...