Q3 GDP Comes In At 2.9%

The GDP initial estimate reports a solid 2.9% economic growth for the third quarter.  Trade exports and private inventories accelerated in Q3.  Consumer spending was home hum, although durable goods consumer spending dramatically increased.  Residential investment declined for the quarter.  While a nice report, GDP is always revised and this is just the initial release.

While Q2 GDP Is Bad News, the Revisions are Worse

The first Q2 GDP estimate shows a surprising sputtering 1.2% of economic growth.  That is a much weaker second quarter than most expected as investment declined -9.7% from the first quarter and the price index was much higher.  Worse, GDP was revised for 2016 Q1 back to 0.8%.  GDP for years 2015, 2014 and 2013, were all revised higher.  Yet since Q2 2015, quarterly GDP was revised lower, showing quite the sluggish slowdown going on for at least a year.

The 10.1% Increase in the May Trade Deficit Was Not Bad Enough to Hit GDP

Our trade deficit increased by 10.1% in May as the value of our exports decreased and the value of our imports increased.   The Census report on our international trade in goods and services for May indicated that our seasonally adjusted goods and services trade deficit rose by $3.8 billion (rounded) to $41.1 billion in May from a revised April deficit of $37.4 billion.

Q1 2016 GDP Revised Upward to 1.1%

Q1 GDP was revised upward to 1.1%.  Originally GDP was estimated to be 0.5%, then revised up to 0.8% and now reported to be 1.1%.  While consumer spending was revised somewhat lower again, exports came to the rescue and bumped up Q1 GDP.  Private investment contraction was less than originally estimated as well.  Now GDP is still weak but not anything to be concerned about.  Seems revisions always change the economic growth story and Q1 is no exception.

Q1 2016 GDP Blows a Raspberry with a 0.5% Increase

The initial Q1 GDP estimate shows economic growth as a stagnant 0.5%.  Consumer spending was all services consumption.  Private investment just walloped the economy as both nonresidential fixed investment and the changes in private inventories contracted.  Exports also receded.  An ominous bright spot is residential investment grew by almost half a percentage point.  Government spending added to GDP.


February Trade Data Points to Some Bad Signs

The U.S. February 2016 monthly trade deficit increased 2.6% from last month and now stands at -$47.1 billion.  America still runs a surplus in services, now at $17.7 billion, but the goods deficit is still massive and this month was -$64.7 billion.  The U.S. trade deficit hasn't been this high since August 2015.

Services Use More Than Estimated as Q4 GDP Revised Upward to 1.4%

Q4 GDP was revised upward again to now be 1.4%.  That's double the original advance report of 0.7% and the first revision was 1.0%.  The primary cause of the upward revision was more consumer spending in services than previously estimated.  The trade deficit Q4 GDP impact was significantly less.  Residential housing was revised upward as well.

January's Trade Off to a Bad Start; On Track to Knock a Half Point Off Q1 GDP

Our trade deficit rose by 2.2% January, while the net value of both our exports and our imports decreased.  The Census report on our international trade in goods and services for January indicated that our seasonally adjusted goods and services trade deficit rose by $1.0 billion to $45.7 billion in January from a December deficit which was revised from $43.4 billion to $44.7 billion

Q4 2015 GDP Comes in at a Paltry 0.7%

The initial Q4 GDP estimate is an ominous 0.7%.  Consumer spending was the only dimly lit bright spot,with changes in inventories removing 0.45 percentage points from GDP.  The trade deficit didn't help either as exports were less than imports and the end result was a -0.47 percentage point drain on Q4 real GDP.  Both government and fixed investment GDP contribution was next to nil.