Economics-Watching: Third-Quarter GDP Growth Estimate Increased

[from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDPNow]

The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) is a key indicator of economic activity, but the official estimate is released with a delay. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDPNow forecasting model provides a “nowcast” of the official estimate prior to its release by estimating GDP growth using a methodology similar to the one used by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

GDPNow is not an official forecast of the Atlanta Fed. Rather, it is best viewed as a running estimate of real GDP growth based on available economic data for the current measured quarter. There are no subjective adjustments made to GDPNow—the estimate is based solely on the mathematical results of the modelIn particular, it does not capture the impact of COVID-19 and social mobility beyond their impact on GDP source data and relevant economic reports that have already been released. It does not anticipate their impact on forthcoming economic reports beyond the standard internal dynamics of the model.

The GDPNow model estimate for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2023 is 4.1 percent on August 8, up from 3.9 percent on August 1. After recent releases from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Institute for Supply Management, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an increase in the nowcast of third-quarter real gross private domestic investment growth from 5.2 percent to 8.1 percent was slightly offset by decreases in the nowcasts of third-quarter real personal consumption expenditures growth and third-quarter real government spending growth from 3.5 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, to 3.2 percent and 2.7 percent, while the nowcast of the contribution of the change in real net exports to second-quarter real GDP growth increased from 0.08 percentage points to 0.11 percentage points.

The next GDPNow update is Tuesday, August 15.

Essay 60: Staying on Top of Key Data

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

BEA News:  U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, September 2019

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has issued the following news release:

The U.S. monthly international trade deficit decreased in September 2019 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.  The deficit decreased from $55.0 billion in August (revised) to $52.5 billion in September, as imports decreased more than exports. The previously published August deficit was $54.9 billion.  The goods deficit decreased $2.7 billion in September to $71.7 billion.  The services surplus decreased $0.1 billion in September to $19.3 billion.

The full text of the release on BEA’s website can be found here.

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