United States: GDP accelerates in Q3
October 25, 2012
The economy expanded at a seasonally adjusted annualised rate (saar) of 2.0% in the third quarter, according to the advance estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on 26 October. The reading was above the 1.3% expansion recorded in previous quarter and also overshot market expectations, which had anticipated the economy would grow 1.8%. The acceleration over the previous quarter was mainly caused by faster growth in both private and government consumption. Personal consumption expenditures grew at a 2.0% annualized rate (Q2: +1.5% quarter-on-quarter saar) while public spending expanded a strong 3.7% (Q2: -0.7% qoq saar) amid a surge in defense spending. Fixed investment, on the other hand, decelerated from a 4.5% increase in Q2 to a 1.5% rise, driven by a contraction in non-residential fixed investment (Q2: +3.6% qoq saar; Q3: -1.3% qoq saar). On the external side of the economy, exports deteriorated from a 5.2% expansion in the second quarter to a 1.6% contraction in the third. Imports also deteriorated but at a milder pace, declining 0.2% (Q2: +2.8% qoq saar). As a result, the external sector's net contribution to overall growth deteriorated from a 0.2 percentage-point contribution in the second quarter to a 0.2 percentage-point detraction in the third.