GDP Falls 0.2 Percent in the First Quarter

U.S. Real GDP for the first quarter decreased at a rate of 0.2 percent, according to the third estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The second estimate had reported a 0.7 percent decline.

The upward revision reflected stronger personal consumption expenditures (PCE) than previously estimated. The decline in exports was also less than previously estimated, but was offset by an increase in imports.

Net exports were ultimately the largest drag on GDP, decreasing 5.9 percent in the first quarter, after gaining 4.5 percent in the fourth.

Real personal consumption increased 2.1 percent in the first quarter, a much slower rate compared to the 4.4 percent growth in the previous quarter. Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 2 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter. Real federal government spending was unchanged this quarter after falling 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter.