Q2 GDP SLASHED TO 1.3%

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Photo: El coleccionista de instantes / Flickr

The third reading on Q2 GDP just came out and the report was ugly.The headline growth number was revised down to 1.3 per cent on an annualized basis.

Economists expected the number to be unchanged at 1.7 per cent.

“As we recently noted, you’ll need to watch the rear-view mirror to see the recession come into focus,” wrote ECRI’s Lakshman Achuthan in an email to Business Insider.

“The “third” estimate of the second-quarter per cent change in real GDP is 0.4 percentage point, or $16.0 billion, less than the “second” estimate issued last month, primarily reflecting downward revisions to private inventory investment, to personal consumption expenditures, and to exports,” wrote the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The personal consumption component was revised down to 1.5 per cent.  Economists were expecting it to be unchanged at 1.7 per cent.

From the Bureau of Economic Analysis:
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Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labour and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 1.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the first quarter, real GDP increased 2.0 per cent.

      The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month.  In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was 1.7 per cent (see “Revisions” on page 3).

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

      The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected decelerations in PCE, in nonresidential fixed investment, and in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by smaller decreases in federal government spending and in state and local government spending and an acceleration in exports.

      Motor vehicle output added 0.20 percentage point to the second-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.72 percentage point to the first-quarter change.  Final sales of computers subtracted 0.10 percentage point from the second-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.02 percentage point to the first-quarter change.

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