US Department of Commerce Reports Some Signs of Growth

Courtesy of White House Council of Economic Advisors

The United States Department of Commerce recently released third-quarter reports relating to national income, product accounts, and gross domestic product with numbers that show relative increases in growth and productivity.

Real GDP, the value of the production of goods and services in the US, adjusted for price changes, experienced increase at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the most recent estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter of 2014, real GDP increased 4.6 percent.

The increases in the third quarter reflected contributions from personal consumption of goods and services, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, exports, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by a negative contribution from private inventory investment.

Imports, calculated as a subtraction in GDP, decreased.

The drop in the percent change in real GDP reflects a downturn in private inventory investment and drop in exports, nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, personal consumption of goods and services, and residential fixed investment. These decreases were partially affected by a drop in imports and an increase in spending by the federal government.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.4 percent in the third quarter, 0.1 percentage point more than in the advance estimate; this index increased 2.0 percent in the second quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.6 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1.7 percent in the second.

Real gross national product, the value of goods and services produced by the labor and property supplied by residents of the US, increased 3.8 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 4.6 percent in the second.

GNP includes, and GDP excludes, net receipts of income from the rest of the world, which decreased $1.6 billion in the third quarter, in contrast to an increase of $1.4 billion in the second. In the third quarter, receipts of income decreased $1.1 billion, while payments increased by $0.5 billion.

Current-dollar GDP, the market value of the production of goods and services in the United States, increased 5.3 percent for a total of $227.0 billion, in the third quarter; the current level stands at $17,555.2 billion. Comparatively, in the previous quarter, the same figure increased 6.8 percent, for a total of $284.2 billion.

Real gross domestic income, which measures the value of the production of goods and services in the United States as the costs incurred and the incomes earned on that production, increased 4.5 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 4.0 percent in the second.

For a given quarter, the estimates of GDP and GDI may differ for a variety of reasons, but, over longer periods estimates of GDP and GDI tend to follow similar patterns of change.

While these numbers do show some level of optimism nationally, local economies, like that of the Central Valley, continue to recover from previous events that led to economic downturn.

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