U.S. GDP Expands 2 Percent in Q3


U.S. Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2012 (that is, from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.3 percent.

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), federal government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from exports, nonresidential fixed investment, and private inventory investment.  Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

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

Motor vehicle output subtracted 0.47 percentage point from the third-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.20 percentage point to the second-quarter change.

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.0 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in the second.  Durable goods increased 8.5 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 0.2 percent.  Nondurable goods increased 2.4 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent.  Services increased 0.8 percent, compared with an increase of 2.1 percent.

Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 1.3 percent in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of 3.6 percent in the second.  Nonresidential structures decreased 4.4 percent, in contrast to an nincrease of 0.6 percent.  Equipment and software decreased less than 0.1 percent, in contrast to an increase of 4.8 percent.  Real residential fixed investment increased 14.4 percent, compared with an increase of 8.5 percent.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 9.6 percent in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 0.2 percent in the second.  National defense increased 13.0 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 0.2 percent.  Nondefense increased 3.0 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 0.4 percent.  Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 0.1 percent, compared with a decrease of 1.0 percent.

The change in real private inventories subtracted 0.12 percentage point from the third-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.46 percentage point from the second-quarter change.  Farm inventories subtracted 0.42 percentage point from the third-quarter change after subtracting 0.17 percentage point from the second-quarter change.  Nonfarm inventories added 0.30 percentage point to the third-quarter change after subtracting 0.29 percentage point from the second-quarter change.


TradingEconomics.com, the Bureau of Economic Analysis
10/26/2012 1:35:03 PM