Real Gross Domestic Product Grew at an Annual Rate of 1.7% in the Second Quarter

Recovery Remains Worst on Record

Jul 31 2013

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The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its advance estimate of 2nd-quarter 2013 real gross domestic product (GDP) today. BEA reported that real GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.7% during the quarter. Over the past year, real GDP has increased 1.4%.

Since the recession ended in the 2nd-quarter 2009, real GDP has increased a total of 9.0% compared to the average of 18.6% in other post-World War II recoveries. This puts the growth gap for this recovery compared to the average of other recoveries at $1.4 trillion (2009$). During the strong Reagan recovery of the 1980s, real GDP increased by 22.3% over the comparable four year period. If the economy had grown at the rate of the Reagan recovery, real GDP would be 12% higher, leaving the current recovery with a $1.9 trillion growth gap compared to the Reagan recovery.

Highlights of the Report

Real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) grew at an annual rate of 1.8% during the quarter compared to 2.3% in the 1st-quarter.

Real nonresidential fixed investment increased at an annual rate of 4.6% in the quarter after declining 4.6% during the 1st-quarter.

Real exports of goods and services increased 5.4% while imports increased by 9.5%.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 1.5%.

Comprehensive Revision

Today, BEA released revised statistics for GDP dating back to 1929 for annual data and 1947 for quarterly data.

BEA provided the following summary of the differences with previously published data.

• For 1929–2012, the average annual growth rate of real GDP was 3.3%, 0.1 percentage point higher than in the previously published estimates. For the more recent period, 2002–2012, the growth rate was 1.8%, 0.2 percentage point higher than in the previously published estimates.

• For 2002–2012, the average rate of change in the prices paid by U.S. residents was 2.3%, 0.1 percentage point lower than in the previously published estimates.

• For 2009–2012, the average annual growth rate of real GDP was 2.4%, 0.3 percentage point higher than in the previously published estimates. The percent change in real GDP was revised up 0.1 percentage point for 2010, was unrevised for 2011, and was revised up 0.6 percentage point for 2012.

• For the period of contraction from the 4th-quarter of 2007 to the 2nd-quarter of 2009, real GDP decreased at an average annual rate of 2.9 %; in the previously published estimates, it decreased 3.2 %.

• For the period of expansion from the second quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2013, real GDP increased at an average annual rate of 2.2%; in the previously published estimates, it increased 2.1 percent.

According to Trend Macrolytics, the revised methodology raised nominal (current dollar) GDP by $551 billion or 3.4%.

The inclusion of: private R&D added $275 billion, private investment in entertainment and artistic originals added $75 billion, government R&D added $149 billion, and new housing transaction costs added $63 billion.

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