First Quarter GDP Grows at 3.2 Percent, Blowing Past Projections

Real GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.2 percent during the first quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s “advance” estimate, up from 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, exports, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased (table 2). These contributions were partly offset by a decrease in residential investment.

Consumption accounted for 0.82 percent of the gain, down from 1.66 percent during the third quarter. Fixed investments added a total of 0.27 percent to GDP. After inventories added 0.11 percent to GDP last quarter, they added 0.65 percent in the first quarter.

Government spending increased  this quarter, adding 0.41 percent to growth. State and local government added 0.41 percent to the GDP increase.

Read the BEA release.


About Author

Hugo Dante is an economist in Washington, D.C. He was previously an economic research specialist at ABA. In addition to the ABA Banking Journal, his writing has appeared in The Hill, The National Interest and Townhall. Views expressed here are his own.