Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
The growth rate of real GDP was unchanged in the first quarter—at 1.9 percent—according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That said, we’re due for an Annual Revision (covering data from 2009 to 2012:Q1) alongside the first estimate of second quarter GDP on July 27th, and it’s likely 1.9 percent won’t be the “final” estimate. Even though the top-line was unchanged in this release, there were a few key developments in the details of the report. First, real personal consumption expenditures were revised down from a 2.7 percent to 2.5 percent during this revision, and are down 0.4 percentage points (pp) from the first estimate. All three major components of consumption (durables, nondurables, services) were shaded down. Roughly offsetting the downward revision in consumption, business investment in structures was revised up from a 3.3 percent decrease to a 1.9 percent increase during the revision. Also, residential investment was nudged up from a 19.3 percent gain to a 20.0 percent gain in the first quarter, further outpacing a relatively strong 11.7 percent gain in 2011:Q4. Perhaps not surprisingly, the largest revisions were to net exports. Both the growth rate in real imports and exports were revised down sharply. Export growth fell 3.0 pp during the revision to 4.2 percent (roughly 1.0 pp below the advance estimate). Import growth got knocked down from 6.1 percent to 2.7 percent during the revision. The downward revision to imports more than offset the adjustment to export growth, leading to an increase in the contribution to the change in real GDP from net exports of roughly 0.2 pp.