Thursday, October 29, 2009

Great News! GDP up 3.5%!

From the BEA:

Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and propertylocated in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009,(that is, from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by theBureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP decreased 0.7 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the third-quarter advance estimate released today is based on sourcedata that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 5). The"second" estimate for the third quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on November 24,2009.

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions frompersonal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, private inventory investment, federal governmentspending, and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP,increased.

The upturn in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected upturns in PCE, in privateinventory investment, in exports, and in residential fixed investment and a smaller decrease innonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by an upturn in imports, a downturn in state andlocal government spending, and a deceleration in federal government spending.

Motor vehicle output added 1.66 percentage points to the third-quarter change in real GDP afteradding 0.19 percentage point to the second-quarter change. Final sales of computers subtracted 0.11percentage point from the third-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.04 percentage point fromthe second-quarter change.

Hooray! For the first time in more than a year we have growth. Hopefully we are on the path to a full recovery, although most experts doubt that we won't resume our growth trajectory until 2011 or so and the labor market has yet to show light at the end of the tunnel. My fear is that this good news is just an uptick before another downward plunge.