US Economy Stalls in Q1


United States GDP increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the first quarter as exports dropped and inventories climbed at a slower pace.

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the first quarter primarily reflected downturns in exports and in nonresidential fixed investment, a larger decrease in private inventory investment, a deceleration in PCE, and a downturn in state and local government spending that were partly offset by an upturn in federal government spending and a downturn in imports.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.4 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in the fourth. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.4 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in the fourth.

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 3.0 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 3.3 percent in the fourth. Durable goods increased 0.8 percent, compared with an increase of 2.8 percent. Nondurable goods increased 0.1 percent, compared with an increase of 2.9 percent.Services increased 4.4 percent, compared with an increase of 3.5 percent.

Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 2.1 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 5.7 percent in the fourth. Nonresidential structures increased 0.2 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 1.8 percent. Equipment decreased 5.5 percent, in contrast to an increase of 10.9 percent. Intellectual property products increased 1.5 percent, compared with an increase of 4.0 percent. Real residential fixed investment decreased 5.7 percent, compared with a decrease of 7.9 percent.

Real exports of goods and services decreased 7.6 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 9.5 percent in the fourth.  Real imports of goods and services decreased 1.4 percent, in contrast to an increase of 1.5 percent.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 0.7 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 12.8 percent in the fourth. National defense decreased 2.4 percent, compared with a decrease of 14.4 percent. Nondefense increased 5.9 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 10.0 percent.  Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 1.3 percent; it was unchanged in the fourth quarter.


The change in real private inventories subtracted 0.57 percentage point from the first-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.02 percentage point from the fourth-quarter change. Private businesses increased inventories $87.4 billion in the first quarter, following increases of $111.7 billion in the fourth quarter and $115.7 billion in the third.


Commerce Department | anna@tradingeconomics.com
4/30/2014 1:42:28 PM