U.S. Economy Expands 2.8% in Q4


U.S.real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.7 percent in the third. Durable goods increased 14.8 percent, compared with an increase of 5.7 percent.Nondurable goods increased 1.7 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 0.5 percent. Services increased 0.2 percent, compared with an increase of 1.9 percent.

Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 15.7 percent in the third. 

Real exports of goods and services increased 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter, the same increase as in the third.  Real imports of goods and services increased 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2 percent in the third.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.1 percent in the third. 

The change in real private inventories added 1.94 percentage points to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 1.35 percentage points from the third-quarter change. 

During 2011 (that is, measured from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011), real GDP increased 1.6 percent. Real GDP increased 3.1 percent during 2010.


TradingEconomics.com, Bureau of Economic Analysis
1/27/2012 5:44:01 PM