Q3 GDP Third Estimate: Real GDP At 33.4%, Record High

The Third Estimate for Q3 GDP, to one decimal, came in at 33.4% (33.44% to two decimal places), a record increase from -31.4% (-31.38% to two decimal places) for the Q2 Third Estimate. Investing.com had a consensus of 33.1%.

Here is the slightly abbreviated opening text from the Bureau of Economic Analysis news release:

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 33.4 percent in the third quarter of 2020 (table 1), according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP decreased 31.4 percent.

The “third” estimate of GDP released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "second" estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was 33.1 percent. The upward revision primarily reflected larger increases in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and nonresidential fixed investment (see "Updates to GDP" on page 3).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on the Third-Quarter 2020 GDP Estimate

The increase in third quarter GDP reflected continued efforts to reopen businesses and resume activities that were postponed or restricted due to COVID-19. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the GDP estimate for the third quarter of 2020 because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified. For more information, see the Technical Note. [Full Release]

Here is a look at Quarterly GDP since Q2 1947. Prior to 1947, GDP was an annual calculation. To be more precise, the chart shows is the annualized percentage change from the preceding quarter in Real (inflation-adjusted) Gross Domestic Product. We've also included recessions, which are determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Also illustrated are the 3.17% average (arithmetic mean) and the 10-year moving average, currently at 2.02%.

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