International Financial Law Prof Blog

Editor: William Byrnes
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Gross Domestic Product, 3rd quarter 2018 (third estimate); Corporate Profits, 3rd quarter 2018

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018 (table 1), according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 4.2 percent.

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 3.5 percent. With this third estimate for the third quarter, personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and exports were revised down, and private inventory investment was revised up; the general picture of economic growth remains the same (see "Updates to GDP" on page 2).

Real GDP: Percent change from preceding quarter, Q3 2018 (3rd est.)

Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 4.3 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 0.9 percent in the second quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 3.8 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent in the second quarter (table 1).

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from exports and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased (table 2).

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the third quarter primarily reflected a downturn in exports and decelerations in nonresidential fixed investment and in PCE. Imports increased in the third quarter after decreasing in the second. These movements were partly offset by an upturn in private inventory investment.

Current-dollar GDP increased 4.9 percent, or $246.3 billion, in the third quarter to a level of $20.66 trillion. In the second quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 7.6 percent, or $370.9 billion (table 1 and table 3).

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.8 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.4 percent in the second quarter (table 4). The PCE price index increased 1.6 percent, compared with an increase of 2.0 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.6 percent, compared with an increase of 2.1 percent.

Updates to GDP

The third-quarter percent change in real GDP was revised down 0.1 percentage point from the second estimate, reflecting downward revisions to PCE and exports that were partly offset by an upward revision to private inventory investment. For more information, see the Technical Note. A detailed "Key Source Data and Assumptions" file is also posted for each release.  For information on updates to GDP, see the "Additional Information" section that follows.

  Advance Estimate Second Estimate Third Estimate
(Percent change from preceding quarter)
Real GDP 3.5 3.5 3.4
Current-dollar GDP 4.9 5.0 4.9
Real GDI 4.0 4.3
Average of Real GDP and Real GDI 3.8 3.8
Gross domestic purchases price index 1.7 1.7 1.8
PCE price index 1.6 1.5 1.6

Corporate Profits (table 10)

Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments) increased $78.2 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $65.0 billion in the second quarter.

Profits of domestic financial corporations decreased $6.1 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of $16.5 billion in the second quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations increased $83.0 billion, compared with an increase of $53.0 billion. Rest-of-the-world  profits increased $1.3 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $4.5 billion. In the third quarter, receipts decreased $9.5 billion, and payments decreased $10.8 billion.

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Next release, January 30, 2019 at 8:30 A.M. EST
Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Annual 2018 (Advance Estimate)

Economics | Permalink


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