Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Real GDP
Real GDP was revised down by 0.3 percentage points to 1.0 percent in the second quarter, bringing its 4-quarter growth rate down to 1.5 percent (its slowest growth rate since 2009:Q4), though the details aren’t as bad as the top-line number looks. Much of the downward revision came from exports and inventories, two series the BEA has scant data on as of the advance release. Second quarter real export growth was roughly chopped in half during the revision—from 6.0 percent to 3.1 percent—subtracting 0.4 percentage points from the initial estimate. Imports were nudged up slightly to a 1.9 percent increase in the second quarter. Private inventories (the other major source of the downward revision) were knocked down by roughly $9 billion, switching its contribution to output growth from adding 0.2 percentage points to subtracting 0.2 percentage points in the second quarter. Real personal consumption expenditures were revised up from an initial flat reading to a slight 0.4 percent increase in the second quarter, but that added a little over two tenths to real GDP growth. Another positive was the upward revision to nonresidential investment. Overall BFI was revised up from a 5.8 percent increase to a 9.9 percent gain in the second quarter, as the estimates for both structures and equipment & software investment were boosted. Interestingly, structures investment growth was nearly doubled—from an 8.2 percent gain to a 15.8 percent increase—and now more than offsets its first quarter decrease of 14.4 percent. On a year-over-year basis, structures investment is up 3.4 percent, its strongest growth rate since 2008:Q3. Along with the second estimate of real GDP, we get our first glance at Gross Domestic Income (GDI)—which is calculated using an income approach instead of an expenditure approach. The signal coming from real GDI is actually a shade better than real GDP. Real GDI rose 1.5 percent in the second quarter, following a 2.4 percent increase in the first. And, over the past 4 quarters is up 2.0 percent, compared to just a 1.5 percent growth rate from real GDP.