The latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis confirm that the U.S. economy barely grew in Q4 2012. However, despite the weak economy, corporate profits as a share of GDP hit their second highest level ever.
Based on the latest data, the BEA revised Q4 real GDP growth upward
from an annual rate of 0.1 percent to 0.4 percent, still the
second-slowest quarterly growth since the recovery began in 2009. The
following table compares the latest revision to the second estimate
released last month.
Consumer spending was weaker than previously reported, with durable
goods accounting for most of the growth that did take place. Fixed
investment was a relative bright spot, led by business equipment and
computers. However, growth of fixed investment was almost wholly offset
by a decrease in nonfarm inventories. The BEA data provides no direct
indication of the motive for inventory change, but it is easy to imagine
that at least some businesses were showing caution about restocking, in
view of anticipated tax increases and cuts in government spending for
early 2013. >>>Read more
Follow this link to view or download a classroom-ready slideshow with more charts of the latest US GDP and profits data