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GDP Report Has Pluses and Minuses

July 31, 2013 8:58 AM EDT Send to a Friend
Stocks were whipsawed early Wednesday as a better-than-expected Q2 GDP report was weighed against a Q1 GDP revision lower.

U.S. GDP for the second quarter rose 1.7%, which easily surpassed the consensus of a 1% increase. Meanwhile, first quarter GDP was revised down to 1.1% versus a prior reading of 1.8%.

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment, and residential investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The acceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected upturns in nonresidential fixed investment and in exports, a smaller decrease in federal government spending, and an upturn in state and local government spending that were partly offset by an acceleration in imports and decelerations in private inventory investment and in PCE.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 0.3 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2 percent in the first. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8 percent in the second quarter compared with 1.4 percent in the first.

Real personal consumption expenditures increased 1.8 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.3 percent in the first. Durable goods increased 6.5 percent, compared with an increase of 5.8 percent. Nondurable goods increased 2.0 percent, compared with an increase of 2.7 percent. Services increased 0.9 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent.

Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 4.6 percent in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 4.6 percent in the first. Nonresidential structures increased 6.8 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 25.7 percent. Equipment increased 4.1 percent, compared with an increase of 1.6 percent. Intellectual property products increased 3.8 percent, compared with an increase of 3.7 percent. Real residential fixed investment increased 13.4 percent, compared with an increase of 12.5 percent.

Real exports of goods and services increased 5.4 percent in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 1.3 percent in the first. Real imports of goods and services increased 9.5 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent.

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 1.5 percent in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of 8.4 percent in the first. National defense decreased 0.5 percent, compared with a decrease of 11.2 percent. Nondefense decreased 3.2 percent, compared with a decrease of 3.6 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 0.3 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 1.3 percent.

The change in real private inventories added 0.41 percentage point to the second-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.93 percentage point to the first-quarter change. Private businesses increased inventories $56.7 billion in the second quarter, following increases of $42.2 billion in the first quarter and $7.3 billion in the fourth.

Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 1.3 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent in the first.




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