Wednesday, April 29, 2009

US GDP Q1 2009 Is Just an Advanced Release, to be Revised.

The US (Bureau of Economic Analysis National Economic Accounts) has just released the GDP figures for Q1 2009. It is noteworthy that this is just a preliminary "advanced" release, much like we had for Q4 last year when the equivalent figure was -3.8%, and was subsequently revised to -6.7%.

Therefore, the actual drop on GDP can be significantly different. The number -6.1% is largely irrelevant, it could well be -9%.

This is the advance release for Q4 2008, from January 30 2009


Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- decreased at an annual rate of 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP decreased 0.5 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the fourth-quarter “advance” estimates are based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 4). The fourth-quarter “preliminary” estimates, based on more comprehensive data, will be released on February 27, 2009.

The decrease in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected negative contributions from exports, personal consumption expenditures, equipment and software, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by positive contributions from private inventory investment and federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased."

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