The original reading released in late January showed annualized growth of 2.6 percent.
That was revised down — but not by as much as many expected — to 2.2 percent in late February.
The expectations for today, according to Yahoo’s Business Calendar, are for an upward revision to 2.4 percent from analysts in general and at Briefing.com. Bloomberg is among those carrying a 2.4 percent prediction.
I didn’t think last month’s revised figure overstated the underlying reality, and I believe there have been some downward revisions to December which were figured into February’s estimate. Then again, I don’t think the economy grew by as much reported in the second or third quarter either — at least not in terms of reflecting genuine standard of living improvements.
The report will be here at 8:30:
HERE IT IS (full release text version): No change —
Real gross domestic product — the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 5.0 percent.
The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 2.2 percent. While increases in exports and in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) were larger than previously estimated and the change in private inventories was smaller, GDP growth is unrevised, and the general picture of the economy for the fourth quarter remains the same.
The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal government spending and private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.
The deceleration in real GDP growth in the fourth quarter primarily reflected an upturn in imports, a downturn in federal government spending, a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment, and a larger decrease in private inventory investment that were partly offset by accelerations in PCE and in state and local government spending.
Here is the updated breakdown:
Biggest change: Health care spending, which accounts for 40 percent of the quarter’s growth, and arguably has nothing to do with improved standards of living. The 0.88 points added is the largest quarterly figure presented in the report, which goes back to Q1 of 2011.
UPDATE: Zero Hedge (spelling error corrected): “In short: a number which confirms the US economy is once again slowing down, and will hit the brakes when in one month the BEA reports that Q1 GDP was at or below 1.0%, with snow in the winter getting the bulk of the ridiculous blame once again.”
UPDATE 2: Also at Zero Hedge — “Americans Spent All Their ‘Gas Savings’ On Obamacare”