US GDP Shrinks in Q1


The United States economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, down from a preliminary 0.2 percent growth, figures from the second official estimate showed. It is the first contraction in a year as the trade deficit widened and inventories accumulated less than expected.

In the advance estimate, real GDP increased 0.2 percent. With the second estimate for the first quarter, imports increased more and private inventory investment increased less than previously estimated.

The downturn primarily reflected a deceleration in PCE and downturns in exports, in nonresidential fixed investment, and in state and local government spending that were partly offset by a deceleration in imports and upturns in federal government spending and in private inventory investment.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, decreased 1.6 percent in the first quarter, a downward revision of 0.1 percentage point from the advance estimate; this index decreased 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.2 percent, compared with an increase of 0.7 percent.

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 1.8 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 4.4 percent in the fourth. Durable goods increased 1.1 percent, compared with an increase of 6.2 percent. Nondurable goods increased 0.1 percent, compared with an increase of 4.1 percent. Services increased 2.5 percent, compared with an increase of 4.3 percent. 

Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 2.8 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 4.7 percent in the fourth. Investment in nonresidential structures decreased 20.8 percent, in contrast to an increase of 5.9 percent. Investment in equipment increased 2.7 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent. Investment in intellectual property products increased 3.6 percent, compared with an increase of 10.3 percent. Real residential fixed investment increased 5.0 percent, compared with an increase of 3.8 percent.

Real exports of goods and services decreased 7.6 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 4.5 percent in the fourth. Real imports of goods and services increased 5.6 percent, compared with an increase of 10.4 percent.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 0.1 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 7.3 percent in the fourth. National defense decreased 1.0 percent, compared with a decrease of 12.2 percent. Nondefense increased 2.0 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 1.8 percent, in contrast to an increase of 1.6 percent.

The change in real private inventories added 0.33 percentage point to the first-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.10 percentage point from the fourth-quarter change. Private businesses increased inventories $95.0 billion in the first quarter, following increases of $80.0 billion in the fourth quarter and $82.2 billion in the third.

US GDP Shrinks in Q1


US Bureau of Economic Analysis | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
5/29/2015 1:48:03 PM