Fourth Quarter U.S. GDP rose at an annual rate of 2.1% in 2019

March 26, 2020

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1% for the fourth quarter of 2019 according to the third estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Similarly, for the third quarter of 2019, real GDP had a 2.1% growth.

The upward movement in real GDP for the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), federal government spending, residential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and exports. This movement was partly offset by a negative contribution from non-residential fixed investment and private inventory investment. Moreover, imports decreased.

The acceleration in the real GDP growth in the fourth quarter reflected a decline in imports and growth in government spending. However, this acceleration was partly tempered by a larger decrease in private inventory investment and a slowdown in PCE.

Real gross domestic income (GDI) rose 2.6% in the fourth quarter, relative to an increase of 1.2% in the third quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, advanced 2.4% in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.7% in the prior quarter.

“Current dollar GDP increased 3.5%, or $186.6 billion, in the fourth quarter to a level of $21.73 trillion. In the third quarter, GDP increased 3.8%, or $202.3 billion,” according to BEA.

In the fourth quarter, the index for gross domestic purchases price index went up 1.4% when compared to a similar rising by 1.4% in the third quarter. In addition, the PCE price index increased 1.4% relative to an increase of 1.5%. With the exception of the food and energy prices, the PCE price index climbed 1.3% versus an increase of 2.1%.

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