While the US economy grew at a slower annualised
pace than the third quarter's 4.1% rate, the final six months of the year
delivered the strongest second half since 2003 boosted by exports, consumer
spending and business investment.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 3.2% in the fourth quarter
of 2013, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, the
growth rate was 4.1%. For the full year 2013, real GDP increased 1.9%, compared with 2.8% in
Fourth-quarter GDP highlights:
The slowdown in real GDP growth mainly
reflected a slowdown in inventory investment. In fact, GDP less inventory investment (real final sales of domestic product) accelerated, rising 2.8% in the fourth quarter, compared with 2.5% in the third quarter.
Also contributing to the economic slowdown: a larger decrease in federal government spending, a downturn in housing investment, a slowdown in state and local government spending, and a slowdown in business investment.
Offsetting the contributions to the slowdown:
- Net exports accelerated, reflecting a pickup in exports and a slowdown
- Consumer spending accelerated, reflecting a pickup in spending on
household services, notably household utilities as well as food services and
accommodations. The rate of growth was 3.3%, the fastest pace in three years
- - it accounts for roughly two-thirds of economic
Gross domestic purchases prices:
Prices of goods and services purchased by
US residents rose 1.2% in the fourth quarter after rising 1.8% in the third quarter. Both energy prices and food prices turned down in the
fourth quarter. Excluding these items, prices rose 1.7% after rising 1.5%.
Government shutdown: The full effects of the federal government shutdown in
October could not be quantified. However, BEA was able to estimate the effects of the reduction in hours worked by federal employees,
which reduced GDP growth by 0.3 percentage point.
Annual GDP highlights: The slowdown in real GDP growth in 2013 reflected the following:
- Business investment slowed, reflecting slower growth in both structures
(mainly power and communication) and equipment (mainly transportation);
- Federal government spending declined more in 2013 than in 2012;
- Consumer spending on services slowed, rising 1.2% after rising 1.6%. In contrast, state and local government spending declined less in 2013
than in 2012, and consumer spending on goods accelerated.
Check out our
, at a low annual charge of €25