GDP Report: Your Cheat Sheet to the First Quarter

The third estimate of first quarter 2011 GDP was released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

According to the new estimate, real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.9% in the first quarter of 2011. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 3.1%.

The GDP estimate released Friday is based on the more complete source data than was available for the second estimate last month. In the second estimate, real GDP increased 1.8%.

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter demonstrates positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investments, exports, and nonresidential fixed investments. However, negative contributions from federal government spending and state and local government spending offset those positives. Furthermore, imports are considered a subtraction when calculating GDP, and they increased in the first quarter.

Current-dollar GDP, the market value of the nation’s output of goods and services, increased by 4.0%, up $146.7 billion to $15,018.1 billion. In the fourth quarter, GDP rose 3.5%, or $126.3 billion.

Learn More with Econ 101: Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet to GDP.