United States: First quarter growth revised downwards
May 31, 2012
In the first quarter, GDP grew at a seasonally-adjusted annualised rate (saar) of 1.9% over the previous quarter, according to revised data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on 31 May. The print marked a deterioration compared to the advance estimate of 2.2% published on 27 April but matched market expectations. The reading represents a slowdown over the 3.0% growth recorded in Q4 2011. The deterioration over the advance estimate mainly reflected revisions to private and government consumption as well as inventories. Personal consumption expenditures expanded a revised 2.7% (advance estimate: +2.9% quarter-on-quarter saar), while government consumption contracted a revised 3.9% (advance estimate: -3.0% qoq saar). On the other hand, gross fixed investment grew 4.9% (previously reported: +1.4% saar), amid upward revisions for both residential and non-residential fixed investment. On the external front, export growth was revised up to 7.2% (advance estimate: +5.4% qoq saar), while imports were similarly revised upwards to 6.1% (advance estimate: +4.3% qoq saar). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to growth deteriorated marginally from the minus 0.01 percentage points initially reported to minus 0.08 percentage points.