Q4 GDP Second Estimate: Real GDP At 4.1%

The Second Estimate for Q4 GDP, to one decimal, came in at 4.1% (4.09% to two decimal places), a decrease from 33.4% (33.444% to two decimal places) for the Q3 Third Estimate and a slight increase from the Q4 Advance Estimate of 4.0%. Investing.com had a consensus of 4.2%.

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 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 (table 1), according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 33.4 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 4.0 percent. With the second estimate, upward revisions to residential fixed investment, private inventory investment, and state and local government spending were partly offset by a downward revision to personal consumption expenditures (PCE) (see Technical Note).

The increase in real GDP reflected increases in exports, nonresidential fixed investment, PCE, residential fixed investment, and private inventory investment that were partly offset by decreases in state and local government spending and federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased (table 2). [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 2.07%.

Quarterly GDP since 1947

Here is a log-scale chart of real GDP with an exponential regression, which helps us understand growth cycles since the 1947 inception of quarterly GDP. The latest number puts us 17.3% below trend.

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