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First Quarter GDP Revised: How Did We Do?


Real gross domestic product (GDP), the total output of goods and services in the U.S., increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the first quarter of 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced Thursday.

This is the the first revision for Q1 GDP and a slight decrease from original estimates of an annual growth rate 2.5 percent.

“With the second estimate for the first quarter, increases in private inventory investment, in exports, and in imports were less than previously estimated, but the general picture of overall economic activity is not greatly changed,” the report reads.

“The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and exports that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal government spending and state and local government spending,” the report adds.

Imports, a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, also increased, according to the report.

The increase in Q1 GDP – unlike Q4’s paltry 0.4 – was driven by accelerations in private inventory investment, PCE, decreases in fed spending, and an upturn in exports that were “partly offset by an upturn in imports” and a “deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment.”

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 3.4 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in the fourth, the report notes.

Consumer spending accounts for roughly 70 percent of all economic activity in the U.S. (as measured by the gross domestic product).

Durable goods went up by 8.2 percent, compared with Q4’s increase of 13.6 percent. Nondurable goods went up by 2.2 percent, compared Q4’s increase of 0.1 percent. Services increased 3.1 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent.

Here’s GDP broken down by its components [courtesy Zero Hedge]:

Meanwhile, profits “from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments) decreased $43.8 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $45.4 billion in the fourth,” the report notes.

“Current-production cash flow (net cash flow with inventory valuation adjustment) -- the internal funds available to corporations for investment -- increased $110.9 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $89.8 billion in the fourth,” it adds.

In short, even after the revision, numbers for Q1 GDP remain virtually unchanged, while corporate have fallen profits slightly.

Markets haven't exactly been thrilled with the news:


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Featured image AP photos.

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