International Financial Law Prof Blog

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

Friday, July 5, 2019

BEA News: Gross Domestic Product, First Quarter 2019 (Third Estimate); Corporate Profits, First Quarter 2019 (Revised Estimate)

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 (table 1), according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 2.2 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 also 3.1 percent. Upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, exports, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment were offset by downward revisions to personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and inventory investment and an upward revision to imports (see "Updates to GDP" on page 2).

Real GDP: Percent change from preceding quarter

Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 1.0 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 2.1 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter (table 1).

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

The acceleration in real GDP in the first quarter reflected an upturn in state and local government spending and accelerations in private inventory investment and in exports. These movements were partly offset by a deceleration in PCE. Imports decreased in the first quarter after increasing in the fourth (table 2).

Current–dollar GDP increased 3.8 percent, or $195.0 billion, in the first quarter to a level of $21.06 trillion. In the fourth quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 4.1 percent, or $206.9 billion (table 1 and table 3).

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter (table 4). The PCE price indexincreased 0.5 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.2 percent, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent.

Updates to GDP

The first-quarter percent change in real GDP was the same as previously estimated, reflecting upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, exports, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment that were offset by downward revisions to PCE and inventory investment, and an upward revision to imports. 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 3.2 3.1 3.1
Current-dollar GDP 3.8 3.6 3.8
Real GDI 1.4 1.0
Average of Real GDP and Real GDI 2.2 2.1
Gross domestic purchases price index 0.8 0.7 0.8
PCE price index 0.6 0.4 0.5
 
Upcoming Annual Update of the National Income and Product Accounts
The annual update of the national income and product accounts, covering the first quarter of 2014 through the first quarter of 2019, will be released along with the "advance" estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2019 on July 26. For more information, see the Technical Note.

Corporate Profits (table 10)

Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments) decreased $59.3 billion in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of $9.7 billion in the fourth quarter.

Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $1.4 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $25.2 billion in the fourth quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations decreased $68.1 billion, in contrast to an increase of $13.6 billion. Rest-of-the-world profits increased $7.4 billion, compared with an increase of $1.9 billion. In the first quarter, receipts increased $13.8 billion, and payments increased $6.4 billion.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/intfinlaw/2019/07/bea-news-gross-domestic-product-first-quarter-2019-third-estimate-corporate-profits-first-quarter-2019-revised-estimat.html

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