U.S. Economy Expands 3.2% in Q4


Real GDP in the United States grew at an annualised 3.2 percent pace in the fourth quarter of 2013, as consumer spending grew the most in three years. The "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis matched the expectations.

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

The deceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected a deceleration in private inventory investment, a larger decrease in federal government spending, a downturn in residential fixed investment, and decelerations in state and local government spending and in nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by accelerations in exports and in PCE and a deceleration in imports.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in the third. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in the third.

Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 4.8 percent in the third. Nonresidential structures decreased 1.2 percent, in contrast to an increase of 13.4 percent. Equipment increased 6.9 percent, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent. Intellectual property products increased 3.2 percent, compared with an increase of 5.8 percent. Real residential fixed investment decreased 9.8 percent, in contrast to an increase of 10.3 percent.

Real exports of goods and services increased 11.4 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 3.9 percent in the third. Real imports of goods and services increased 0.9 percent, compared with an increase of 2.4 percent.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 12.6 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a decrease of 1.5 percent in the third. National defense decreased 14.0 percent, compared with a decrease of 0.5 percent. Nondefense decreased 10.3 percent, compared with a decrease of 3.1 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and grossinvestment increased 0.5 percent, compared with an increase of 1.7 percent.

The change in real private inventories added 0.42 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after adding 1.67 percentage points to the third-quarter change. Private businesses increased inventories $127.2 billion in the fourth quarter, following increases of $115.7 billion in the third quarter and $56.6 billion in the second.

In 2013, GDP grew 1.9 percent compared with an increase of 2.8 percent in 2012.


U.S. Economy Expands 3.2% in Q4


Bureau of Economic Analysis | anna@tradingeconomics.com
1/30/2014 1:57:09 PM