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First Quarter GDP Growth Slower Than Estimated, Revised Release Shows

Newly released ‘third estimate” lowers government's initial GDP calculation from 3% to 2.7%.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ latest “third GDP estimates” shows real gross domestic product, the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States, increased at an annual rate of 2.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010; down from 3% cited in the second estimate and off a 5.6% increase in GDP from the fourth quarter of 2009.

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

The deceleration in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected decelerations in private inventory investment and in exports, a downturn in residential fixed investment, a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment, and a larger decrease in state and local government spending that were partly offset by an acceleration in personal consumption expenditures.

Additional highlights from the report:

Motor vehicle output added 0.40 percentage point to the first-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.45 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change. Final sales of computers added 0.09 percentage point to the first-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.01 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.7 percent in the first quarter, unrevised from the second estimate; this index increased 2 percent in the fourth quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in the fourth. The federal pay raise for civilian and military personnel added 0.1 percentage point to the first-quarter increase in the gross domestic purchases price index.

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 3 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.6 percent in the fourth. Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 2.2 percent, compared with an increase of 5.3 percent. Nonresidential structures decreased 15.5 percent, compared with a decrease of 18.0 percent. Equipment and software increased 11.4 percent, compared with an increase of 19.0 percent. Real residential fixed investment decreased 10.3 percent, in contrast to an increase of 3.8 percent.

View the full GDP revised report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
 

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