Q3 GDP Third Estimate At 2.0%, Little Changed From The Second Estimate

economyDoug Short:  The Third Estimate for Q3 GDP, to one decimal, came in at 2.0 percent, little changed from the 2.1 percent for the Second Estimate. Today’s number was on par with most mainstream estimates, with Investing.com forecasting 1.9% and Briefing.com forecasting 2.1 percent.

Here is an excerpt from the Bureau of Economic Analysis news release:

Real gross domestic product — the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 3.9 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was 2.1 percent. With the third estimate for the third quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same; private inventory investment decreased more than previously estimated (see “Revisions” on page 2).

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

The deceleration in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected a downturn in private inventory investment and decelerations in exports, in PCE, in nonresidential fixed investment, and in state and local government spending that were partly offset by a deceleration in imports.

Real gross domestic income (GDI), which measures the value of the production of goods and services in the United States as the costs incurred and the incomes earned in production, increased 2.7 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.2 percent in the second. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 2.3 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 3.0 percent in the second. [Full Release]

Here is a look at Quarterly GDP since Q2 1947. Prior to 1947, GDP was calculated annually. To be more precise, the chart shows is the annualized percent change from the preceding quarter in Real (inflation-adjusted) Gross Domestic Product. We’ve also included recessions, which are determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Also illustrated are the 3.25% average (arithmetic mean) and the 10-year moving average, currently at 1.43 percent.

Quarterly GDP since 1947

Note: The headline 2.0% GDP is 1.98% at two decimal places.

Here is a log-scale chart of real GDP with an exponential regression, which helps us understand growth cycles since the 1947 inception of quarterly GDP. The latest number puts us 14.4% below trend, the largest negative spread in the history of this series.

with a Regression

A particularly telling representation of slowing growth in the US economy is the year-over-year rate of change.

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