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Final estimate raises fourth quarter GDP to 2.9%

Growth remains near 3% mark for third consecutive quarter

The third and final estimate brought the fourth quarter’s gross domestic product up slightly from previous estimates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.9% in the fourth quarter, according to the estimate. This is up from the second estimate’s 2.5% and the first estimate’s 2.6%, but is down from the GDP growth of 3.2% in the third quarter.

Today’s GDP estimate is based on more complete source data than was available for the advance estimate issued last month.

The chart below shows with growth dipped slightly in the fourth quarter, overall it has held relatively steady since the second quarter of 2017 with growth rates near 3%.

Click to Enlarge

GDP

(Source: BEA)

Real gross domestic income increased 0.9% in the fourth quarter, down from the third quarter’s increase of 2.4%. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weighs GDP and GDI, increased 1.9% in the fourth quarter. This is compared to the third quarter’s increase of 2.8%.

The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumer expenditure, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, residential fixed investment, state and local government spending and federal government spending. These were partly offset by a negative contribution from private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

Here are updates to the previous estimate:

Current-dollar GDP: Increased to 5.3%, up from last estimate’s 4.9%

Gross domestic purchases price index: Held steady at 2.5%

Personal consumption expenditures: Held steady at 2.7%

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