Magazine article Economic Trends

Economic Activity

Magazine article Economic Trends

Economic Activity

Article excerpt

Economic Activity

Real GDP and Components, 2001:IIQ(a,b)
(Preliminary estimate)

                           Change,      Percent change, last:
                           billions                    Four
                           of 1996 $    Quarter      quarters

Real GDP                       3.9         0.2          1.2
  Personal consumption        39.0         2.5          3.2
    Durables                  16.0         7.1          5.9
    Nondurables                1.9         0.4          1.9
    Services                  23.0         2.6          3.4
  Business fixed
    investment               -53.3       -14.6         -2.0
      Equipment              -43.6       -15.1         -4.2
      Structures             -10.3       -13.4          4.8
  Residential investment       5.2         5.7          0.4
  Government spending         21.1         5.4          3.0
    National defense           2.0         2.2          2.1
  Net exports                 -6.0          --           --
    Exports                  -36.7       -12.2         -2.1
    Imports                  -30.7        -7.7         -0.4
  Change in business
    inventories              -11.3          --           --


(a.) Chain-weighted data in billions of 1996 dollars.

(b.) Components of real GDP need not add to totals because current
dollar values are deflated at the most detailed level for which all
required data are available.

(c.) Blue Chip panel of economists.

NOTE: All data are seasonally adjusted and annualized.

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
and Bureau of the Census; and Blue Chip Indicators, August 10, 2001.

The preliminary estimate for the national income and product accounts (NIPA) for 2001:IIQ, released on August 29, paints a gloomier picture than the advance estimate for the quarter. According to the preliminary estimate, real GDP growth was a rather anemic 0.2%, down from the earlier estimate of 0.7% (both figures are for the quarter, expressed at annual rates). This makes 2000:IIQ the weakest quarter since 1993. To the extent that there is good news, it is that the economy did not experience negative growth, and thus has not yet entered a recession.

One encouraging aspect of the latest release, and one reason that GDP growth held up as well as it did, was an upward revision to already strong consumer spending. …

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