US GDP Contracts More Than Expected


The United States GDP shrank at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014, according to the third and final estimate from the Commerce Department. The figure comes much worse than a 1 percent contraction previously announced, as the increase in personal consumption was smaller than estimated, and the decline in exports was larger than anticipated.

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

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.3 percent in the first quarter, the same increase as in the second estimate; this index increased 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter. 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 1.8 percent in the fourth.

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 1.0 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 3.3 percent in the fourth. Durable goods increased 1.2 percent, compared with an increase of 2.8 percent. Nondurable goods decreased 0.3 percent, in contrast to an increase of 2.9 percent. Services increased 1.5 percent, compared with an increase of 3.5 percent.

Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 1.2 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 5.7 percent in the fourth. Nonresidential structures decreased 7.7 percent, compared with a decrease of 1.8 percent. Equipment decreased 2.8 percent, in contrast to an increase of 10.9 percent. Intellectual property products increased 6.3 percent, compared with an increase of 4.0 percent. Real residential fixed investment decreased 4.2 percent, compared with a decrease of 7.9 percent.

Real exports of goods and services decreased 8.9 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 9.5 percent in the fourth. Real imports of goods and services increased 1.8 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 0.6 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 12.8 percent in the fourth. National defense decreased 2.5 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 1.7 percent; it was unchanged in the fourth quarter.

The change in real private inventories subtracted 1.70 percentage points from the first-quarter change in real GDP, after subtracting 0.02 percentage point from the fourth-quarter change. Private businesses increased inventories $45.9 billion in the first quarter, following increases of $111.7 billion in the fourth quarter and $115.7 billion in the third.

US GDP Contracts More Than Expected


U.S. Commerce Department | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
6/25/2014 1:50:10 PM