Date: February 21, 2019
The leading contributors to the increase in U.S. economic growth in the third quarter of 2018 were Wholesale trade; information; and finance and insurance. According to The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), “19 of 22 industry groups contributed to the overall 3.4 percent increase in real GDP in the third quarter.”
For the wholesale trade industry group, a 7.4 percent increase was realized in the third quarter, after increasing 2.6 percent in the second quarter. In addition, Information services increased 7.6 percent, after increasing 13.4 percent in the previous quarter. Specifically, increases were realized in publishing industries; data processing, internet publishing, and other information services; and broadcasting and telecommunications. Finance and insurance increased 5.5 percent, after decreasing 2.0 percent. The third quarter growth primarily reflected an increase in Federal Reserve banks, credit intermediation, and related activities.
The BEA also noted, “Real GDP growth slowed to 3.4 percent in the third quarter, from 4.2 percent in the second quarter. Real estate and rental and leasing was the leading contributor to the deceleration in real GDP growth in the third quarter. Real value added for the industry group increased 1.4 percent, after increasing 5.3 percent in the second quarter.”
There was a 4.2 percent increase in Professional, scientific, and technical services, after increasing 9.3 percent, and was the second leading contributor to the slowdown. The deceleration was primarily attributed to a slowdown in miscellaneous professional, scientific, and technical services, which includes industries like advertising, research and development, and engineering services. Utilities which includes electric power generation, transmission, and distribution; natural gas distribution; and water, sewage, and other systems, decreased 4.8 percent, after increasing 19.1 percent.
Gross output by industry
Economy-wide, real gross output rose 3.9 percent in the third quarter. This reflected an increase of 6.4 percent for the private goods-producing sector, 3.4 percent for the private services-producing sector, and 1.7 percent for the government sector. Overall, 20 of 22 industry groups contributed to the increase in real gross output.
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