United States: Third quarter GDP growth revised up
December 22, 2010
In the third quarter, gross domestic product increased 2.6% at a seasonally adjusted annualised rate, according to the 22 December estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The figure was up from both the 2.5% expansion previously reported but below market expectations of 2.8% growth. In the second quarter, GDP grew 1.7%. The pick-up in the third quarter was mainly a result of accelerating personal consumption and an improving contribution of net exports. Personal consumption expenditures accelerated from a 2.2% expansion in the second quarter to a 2.4% increase. Gross fixed investment, on the other hand, decelerated notably from a 18.9% rise to a 1.5% expansion, as residential investment plunged 27.3%, after having expanded 25.7% in the April-June period. That said, the third quarter figure also benefited from a positive 1.61 percentage-point contribution from inventories to overall economic growth. Exports of goods and services softened from a 9.1% rise in the second quarter to a 6.8% increase, while imports moderated somewhat to 16.8% (Q2: +33.5% qoq saar). As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall growth stepped up from minus 3.50 percentage points in the second quarter to minus 1.70 percentage points in the third.