The advance estimate of real gross domestic product (GDP), released October 31, revealed that output increased 3.1% during 2002:IIIQ (annual rate). Personal consumption expenditures grew a robust 4.2% and were a major contributor to the increase in real GDP, comprising nearly three percentage points of total output growth. The $51 billion (chained 1996 dollars) increase in durable goods spending was largely driven by automobile sales during the quarter. In a positive sign for business spending, business fixed investment rose 0.6%, marking the category’s first gain since 2000:IIIQ. However, spending on residential investment and business inventories showed signs of slowing. Along with imports, these categories exerted a drag on real GDP growth. Although government spending increased 1.8%, its growth was more modest than the 4.8% jump of the past four quarters.
Suggested citation: "Economic Activity," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 02-11, pp. 10, 11.01.2002.