Second Look at GDP Growth in the First Quarter – A Little Better, But About the Same


The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the second estimate of real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017. Economic activity expanded at a 1.2% seasonally adjusted annual rate, an upward revision from the previous 0.7% estimate. This estimate is based on more complete data than was available for the “advance” estimate. Real GDP grew at a 2.1% rate in the fourth quarter.

The revisions were modest and don’t change the overall picture of the state of the economy. The deceleration in growth from the fourth quarter was driven by slowdowns in personal consumer spending and inventory investment by businesses. Consumer spending was revised higher. Inventory investment was revised lower. The rebound in nonresidential fixed investment was modestly stronger than in the first estimate while imports (which subtract from growth) were lower and spending by state and local government declined less.

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