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Economic Data (USA)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Preliminary" Released Today for Q2, 2006

The preliminary, real U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report for the second-quarter of 2006 was released this morning:

Predicted: +3.0%
Actual: +2.9%

The above percentages represent the quarter-to-quarter change in the Gross Domestic Product for the United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists and Wall Street forecasters were expecting, while the "actual" is the actual or real figure. The GDP report is produced by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The final GDP report for Q2, 2006, which will contain the most authoritative data for the second-quarter, will be released on September 28, 2006.

The GDP is a very broad measure of economic activity for the entire United States, covering all sectors of the economy. The Commerce Department defines real GDP as, "the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States."

Here's a snippet from a press release issued by the Commerce Department this morning:

"Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the second quarter of 2006, according to preliminary estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 5.6 percent.

The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the advance estimates issued last month. In the advance estimates, the increase in real GDP was 2.5 percent.

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

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter primarily reflected a deceleration in PCE for durable goods, downturns in equipment and software and in federal government spending, decelerations in exports and in PCE for nondurable goods, and a larger decrease in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a deceleration in imports, an acceleration in PCE for services, and an upturn in private inventory investment.

Final sales of computers contributed 0.05 percentage point to the second-quarter growth in real GDP after contributing 0.07 percentage point to the first-quarter growth. Motor vehicle output subtracted 0.28 percentage point from the second-quarter growth in real GDP after contributing 0.12 percentage point to the first-quarter growth."

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