US GDP Contracts Less Than Expected in Q1


The United States economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015, instead of a 0.7 percent drop reported in the second estimate. The exports decreased less than previously estimated, and personal expenditures and imports rose more.

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

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.1 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 4.4 percent in the fourth. Durable goods increased 1.3 percent, compared with an increase of 6.2 percent. Nondurable goods increased 0.8 percent, compared with an increase of 4.1 percent. Services increased 2.7 percent, compared with an increase of 4.3 percent.

Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 2.0 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 4.7 percent in the fourth. Investment in nonresidential structures decreased 18.8 percent, in contrast to an increase of 5.9 percent. Investment in equipment increased 2.6 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent. Investment in intellectual property products increased 4.9 percent, compared with an increase of 10.3 percent. Real residential fixed investment increased 6.5 percent, compared with an increase of 3.8 percent.

Real exports of goods and services decreased 5.9 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 4.5 percent in the fourth. Real imports of goods and services increased 7.1 percent, compared with an increase of 10.4 percent.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment was unchanged in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 7.3 percent in the fourth. National defense decreased 1.2 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 1.0 percent, in contrast to an increase of 1.6 percent.

The change in real private inventories added 0.45 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 $99.5 billion in the first quarter, following increases of $80.0 billion in the fourth quarter and $82.2 billion in the third.

US GDP Contracts Less Than Expected in Q1


US Bureau of Economic Analysis | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
6/24/2015 1:56:18 PM