The surprise uptick in 3rd quarter GDP revisions

December 20, 2013

U.S. GDP grew at its fastest pace in nearly two years in the third quarter of 2013 — at a 4.1% annual rate rather than the 3.6% previously reported — according to revised data released by the government Friday. Particularly, consumer spending was much higher than previously reported.

Here’s more detail from Reuters:

Business spending increased at a 4.8 percent rate instead of the 3.5 percent pace reported early this month. That reflected stronger growth in intellectual property products such as software, research and development, and entertainment.

There were also upward revisions to consumption. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, was raised 0.6 percentage point to a 2.0 percent rate. The revisions reflected higher spending on both goods and services than previously estimated.

Revisions to spending on gasoline and other energy goods accounted for part of the upward revision to spending on goods, while spending on healthcare and other services also was higher than previously estimated.

Consumer spending grew at a 1.8 percent rate in the second quarter.

The WSJ has some highlights from today’s release.

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