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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) "Final" Released Today for Q3, 2006

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

Predicted: +2.2 %
Actual: +2.0 %

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 true or real figure. The GDP report is produced by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Today's final GDP report contains the most authoritative data for Q3, 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 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2006, according to final estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.

The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the preliminary estimates issued last month. In the preliminary estimates, the increase in real GDP was 2.2 percent (see "Revisions" on page 3).

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

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

Final sales of computers contributed 0.07 percentage point to the third-quarter growth in real GDP after contributing 0.04 percentage point to the second-quarter growth. Motor vehicle output contributed 0.76 percentage point to the third-quarter growth in real GDP after subtracting 0.31 percentage point from the second-quarter growth."

Click here to view the full Commerce Department report (PDF).


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