Final Fourth Quarter GDP

Fourth quarter economic growth was revised up in the final attempt to quantify the nation’s output from October through December 2013 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The final revision moved the annualized growth rate to 2.6 percent from the first revision’s 2.4 percent count. The inflation measure included in the report remained unchanged at 1.6 percent.

A few important components were revised upward. Final sales of domestic goods came in at 2.7 percent from 2.3 percent in the earlier revision. This means global demand for American goods and services were better than the earlier data suggested. Also, final sales to domestic purchasers were bumped higher to 1.6 percent from the prior estimate of 1.2 percent, indicating stronger demand from consumers and businesses than the previous calculation demonstrated. However, it was not all upward reappraisals. Nonresidential structures and intellectual property rights were revised lower.

Even with the upward revision, the final quarter of 2013 represents a slowdown from the prior period which grew 4.1 percent. Fortunately, your resident optimists here at Atlas found a silver lining in the data. The year-over-year improvement has accelerated for each of the past two quarters; the third quarter’s 12 month look back was up just 2.0 percent versus the fourth quarter’s 2.6 percent rate of improvement. Since the relatively longer term progression is still accelerating, the economy may have temporarily waned during a waxing trend. (by C. Cox)