Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its “advance” estimate of real GDP growth for the third quarter of 2015. According to the release, in the third quarter real GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.5 percent, down from 3.9 percent in the second quarter. Monthly data that had been trickling in, especially data on inventories, made some slowdown in the third quarter fairly predictable.
As is often the case, personal consumption spending led the way, contributing a positive 2.19 percent to GDP growth in the third quarter. But a substantial portion of this was offset by weakness in private investment, due largely to the change in inventories.