US Third Quarter GDP grew 3.5% to $20.66 trillion

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter of 2018, real GDP increased 4.2 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the third-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. The “second” estimate for the third quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on November 28, 2018.

Components of GDP growth

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

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the third quarter reflected a downturn in exports and a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment. 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 $247.1 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.

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 2.4 percent in the second quarter. 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.

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