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Politics & Money

U.S. GDP rises only 2.1% in Q4

Homebuilding makes another contribution to GDP growth

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.1% in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter of 2019, GDP also grew at a 2.1% pace.

Today’s Q4 GDP estimate is based on incomplete source data that is subject to further revision and will be followed by a second estimate, due to be released in February.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, home building made a positive contribution to GDP, as well as personal consumption expenditures, which accounts for household spending.

The GDP increase also reflected positive contributions from federal government spending, state and local government spending, and exports, 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 1.32%.

Current-dollar GDP increased by 3.6%, or $191.7 billion, in Q4 to a level of $21.73 trillion. This is down from the third quarter’s 3.8%, or $202.3 billion.

The gross domestic price purchase index increased 1.5% in Q4, up from an increase of 1.4% in Q3. Personal consumption expenditures increased 1.6%, up from 1.5% last quarter.

Here are updates to the previous estimate:

Real GDP: Remained unchanged from last quarter’s 2.1%

Current-dollar GDP:  Increased to 3.6%, down from last quarter’s 3.8%

Gross domestic purchases price index:  Increased to 1.5%, up from last quarter’s 1.4%

Personal consumption expenditures: Increased to 1.6%, up from last quarter’s 1.5%

The chart below shows that GDP fell one percentage point from the first quarter and sits nearly one percentage point above Q4 of 2018.

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