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Politics & Money

U.S. economy grew 2.1% in Q4

This estimate, based on more complete data, confirms the BEA's prior report

The U.S. GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, showing the strength of the economy before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S.

The estimate in Thursday’s report is based on more complete source data than what was available in the prior report. According to the BEA, the results match the prior quarter’s pace.

In Q4, a downturn in imports and an acceleration in government spending were offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment, according to the BEA.

Homebuilding made a positive contribution to GDP, as well as personal consumption expenditures.

The GDP increase also reflected positive contributions from exports, federal government spending, and state and local government spending, which were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and nonresidential fixed investment.

Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased by 8.4%.

Current-dollar GDP increased by 3.5%, or $186.6 billion, in Q4 to a level of $21.73 trillion. This is down from the third quarter’s 3.8%, or $202.2 billion.

The gross domestic price purchase index increased by 1.4% in Q4, holding its ground from Q3’s increase of 1.4%. Personal consumption expenditures increased by 1.4%, down from 1.5% in the previous quarter.

Here are updates to the previous estimate:

Real GDP: Remained unchanged at 2.1%

Current-dollar GDP:  Remained unchanged at 3.5%

Gross domestic purchases price index:  Remained unchanged at 1.4%

Personal consumption expenditures: Increased to 1.4%, up from the last estimate’s 1.3%

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