Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2012 (that is, from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.3 percent.
The Bureau emphasized that the third-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see box below). The “second” estimate for the third quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on November 29, 2012.
The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE),federal government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from exports, nonresidential fixed investment, and private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.
The acceleration in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected an upturn in federal government spending, a downturn in imports, an acceleration in PCE, a smaller decrease in private inventory investment, an acceleration in residential fixed investment, and a smaller decrease in state and local government spending that were partly offset by downturns in exports and in nonresidential fixed investment.
But there’s some really bad news in here folks if you’re looking beyond the headlines. Like this:
The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 0.7 percent in the second. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.3 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1.4 percent in the second.
Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 9.6 percent in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 0.2 percent in the second. National defense increased 13.0 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 0.2 percent. Nondefense increased 3.0 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 0.4 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 0.1 percent, compared with a decrease of 1.0 percent.
So states and local governments held the line, but the government blew money like crazy.
Good? Well, not really, and here’s why — the Federal Government spent $1.2414 trillion .vs. $1.2107 last quarter, or an increase of $30.7 billion.
The problem is that non-residential investment actually fell and it is that investment that creates jobs.
This is a tepid report at best and Obama is doing his level damndest best to try to buy his way back into the White House with defense spending.