GDP Contracted -0.1% for Q4 2012!

Q4 2012 real GDP contracted by -0.1%.  Inventory investment nose dived, but was not the lone culprit for economic contraction.    Exports plunged and took -0.81 real GDP percentage points along with it.  Government spending cliff dove and hacked off -1.33 percentage points from 4th quarter gross domestic product as Federal Defense spending declined 22.2% from Q3.

Bad News for Economic Growth as Q2 2012 GDP is Revised Down to 1.25%

Q2 2012 real GDP now shows 1.25% annualized growth after revisions. The advance second quarter GDP estimate was 1.5%, whereas the second revision reported 1.7% GDP growth. The BEA rounds their final GDP numbers, so the actual GDP reported was 1.3%. When we're grabbing economic crumbs, 0.05 percentage points makes a difference.



What the Q2 GDP third estimate shows is a barely breathing economy. Businesses shed inventories, consumers spent way less, a dramatic swing from the Q2 GDP advance report and investment generally is down from the 1st quarter. Shedding inventories can be a recession indicator. Durable goods spending literally vanished in Q2, also a recession indicator. The drought showed up in Q2 GDP, negatively impacting farm inventories and potentially other GDP components indirectly.

Retail Sales Decline, -0.5%, Quarterly Sales Decline -0.2%, Not Seen Since Q1 2009

June 2012 Retail Sales decreased, by -0.5%, and this month one cannot blame just falling gas prices. Autos & Parts alone dropped -0.6% while auto dealers, part of Autos & Parts, declined -0.7%. Minus autos & parts, retail sales also decreased, -0.4%. This is the 3rd month in a row retail sales have declined. June Retail sales are up 3.8% from the same time last year.

Trade Deficit for May 2012 - $48.7 Billion

The U.S. May 2012 monthly trade deficit declined $1.91 billion to $48.68 billion. This is a 3.78% monthly decrease in the trade deficit, all due to reduced imports. Exports decreased $359 million, or -0.20%. Imports declined $1.55 billion, which is a -0.67% decrease from April. The decline in oil prices is the reason the trade deficit shrank for the month.