Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, revealing that economic growth last year was about half of what the White House promised it would be.
The most recent report on the total output of goods and services in the U.S. marks the third and final revision for the fourth quarter and reveals that real GDP for all of 2013 increased by only 1.9 percent, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced Thursday.
“In 2009, President Obama predicted his policies would produce 4.2 percent growth in 2013—more than double the actual, anemic growth rate of 1.9 percent,” ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said in a statement Thursday. “For 2013, the average of all four White House budget projections from 2009–2012 was 3.9 percent—still almost double the actual growth rate. These are not just academic figures—weakened growth means millions of lost jobs and reduced income."
Growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 can be attributed mostly to positive contributions from exports, nonresidential fixed investment and personal consumption expenditures. Imports also saw a decent uptick. Meanwhile, the deceleration in fourth quarter real GDP was because of declines in private inventory investment, federal government spending, residential fixed investments and a slowdown in state and local government spending.
Government spending fell in the fourth quarter by 12.8 percent, compared to the third quarter’s decline of 1.5 percent. Meanwhile, state and local government spending held steady after an increase of 1.7 percent in the third quarter.
Imports, a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased by just 1.5 percent.
Real personal consumption expenditures increased by 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to earlier estimates that put the figure at about 2.6 percent.
Durable goods in the final revision of the fourth quarter increased 2.8 percent, down from its increase of 7.9 percent in the third quarter. Non-durable goods increased by 2.9 percent, just as it did in the third quarter. Services increased in the final revision to 3.5 percent, up from the third quarter’s increase of just 0.7 percent.
Here’s a breakdown of the fourth quarter by its components:
Real final sales of domestic product, that is, GDP minus change in private inventories, increased by 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, up from the increase of 2.5 percent in the third quarter.
Markets have been trading mostly mixed Thursday:
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