Saturday, February 15, 2014

Total US GDP Grows 3.2 Percent in Q4. That’s Nice, but Why do We Pay So Little Attention to Per Capita Measures?

According to today’s advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. real GDP expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. That brought GDP growth for the entire year to 2.74 percent, nearly equaling the 2.77 percent of 2010, which was the strongest since the recovery began. As the following chart shows, most of the growth came in the second half of the year.

The biggest driver of the expansion was personal consumption expenditure. Consumption contributed 2.26 percentage points to GDP growth, the most in three years. Export growth was also exceptionally strong, contributing 1.48 percentage points, while imports barely changed. The contribution of investment to GDP growth was down sharply from the preceding quarter. The negative contribution of the government sector, which has been shrinking steadily under the impact of federal austerity measures, took an unusually large bite out of GDP in Q4. >>>Read more

Follow this link to view or download a classroom-ready slideshow with charts of the latest data from the national income accounts

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