United States Economy Expands 2.5% in Q1


Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013 (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to the 'advance' estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 0.4 percent.

The acceleration in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected an upturn in private inventory investment, an acceleration in personal consumption expenditures, an upturn in exports, and a smaller decrease in federal government spending that were partly offset by an upturn in imports and a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment.

Motor vehicle output added 0.24 percentage point to the first-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.18 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change. Final sales of computers subtracted 0.01 percentage point from the first-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.10 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.1 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.6 percent in the fourth. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.3 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2 percent in the fourth.

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 3.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in the fourth. Durable goods increased 8.1 percent, compared with an increase of 13.6 percent. Nondurable goods increased 1.0 percent, compared with an increase of 0.1 percent. Services increased 3.1 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent.

Real exports of goods and services increased 2.9 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 2.8 percent in the fourth. Real imports of goods and services increased 5.4 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 4.2 percent.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 8.4 percent in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 14.8 percent in the fourth. National defense decreased 11.5 percent, compared with a decrease of 22.1 percent. Nondefense decreased 2.0 percent, in contrast to an increase of 1.7 percent.

The change in real private inventories added 1.03 percentage points to the first-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 1.52 percentage points from the fourth-quarter change. Private businesses increased inventories $50.3 billion in the first quarter, following increases of $13.3 billion in the fourth quarter and $60.3 billion in the third.

Bureau of Economic Analysis | Nuno Fontes | nuno@tradingeconomics.com
5/21/2013 7:36:03 PM