First quarter GDP is revised down to 3.1% as corporate profits slowed

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Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.1% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the second estimate released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Today’s first quarter GDP estimate is based on more complete source data than was available for the advance numbers issued last month, when GDP was estimated at 3.2%. Residential investment, meaning homebuilding, contracted for the fifth straight quarter.

The chart below shows GDP is now up nearly one percentage point from the preceding quarter and the first quarter of 2018.

GDP: Q1 2019

 (Source: BEA)

Real gross domestic income, or GDI, rose 1.4% in the first quarter, up from an increase of 0.5% in the fourth quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weighs GDP and GDI, increased 2.2% in the first quarter, moving forward from 1.3% in the fourth quarter.

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, private inventory investment and state and local government spending. Pretax corporate profits fell 2.8% from the prior quarter, the biggest decline since 2015, and were up 3.1% from a year earlier, the smallest gain since 2017.

Here are updates to the previous estimate:

Real GDP: Increased to 3.1%, down from last estimate’s 3.2%

Current-dollar GDP: Increased to 3.6%, down from last estimate’s 3.8%

Real GDI: 1.4%

Average of Real GDP and Real GDI: 2.2%

Gross domestic purchases price index:  Decreased to 0.7%, down from last estimate’s 0.8%

Personal consumption expenditures: Decreased to 0.4%, down from last estimate’s 0.6%

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