Q4 GDP Revised To 4.1%, Missing Expectations

In the BEA's first revision of Q4 GDP, the US economy was said to have grown by 4.1%, up from the original 4.0% estimate last month but below the 4.2% expected (range 3.9% to 4.6%).

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According to the BEA, the revision to GDP reflected upward revisions to housing investment, inventory investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by a downward revision to consumer spending. Here is the detail:

  • Personal spending was revised to account for 1.61% of the 4.1% GDP, down from 1.70%. On an annualized basis, it declined to 2.4% from the original 2.5% estimate and down from the whopping 41% last quarter.
  • Fixed Investment was revised modestly higher and now accounted for 3.12% of GDP, up from 3.02%.
  • The change in private inventories was also revised slightly higher, from 1.04% to 1.11%
  • Net trade was virtually unchanged, subtracting 1.55% from the GDP print, up slighlty from 1.52% in the first estimate
  • Finally, government subtracted -0.19% from the bottom line number, a slight reduction from 0.22%>

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For those looking at the Fed's favorite infaltion metric, the GDP price index rose 2.1% in 4Q after rising 3.5% prior quarter; it was up from 2.0% in the first estimate and the 2.0% consensus expectation. There were no surprise in Core PCE, however, which was unchanged at 1.4% in 4Q and also in line with consensus estimates.

Of course, for markets none of this matters as the only thing traders care about is how strong the Q1 rebound will be... and how big of an inflationary tide will Biden's trillions unleash.

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