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Third Estimate: U.S. GDP Grew at 2.6% Rate in 3Q

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 2.6 percent in the third quarter of 2010 (from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.7 percent.

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, and federal government spending that were partly offset by a negative contribution from residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

The acceleration in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected a sharp deceleration in imports and an acceleration in private inventory investment that were partly offset by a downturn in residential fixed investment and decelerations in nonresidential fixed investment and in exports.

Motor vehicle output added 0.49 percentage point to the third-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.06 percentage point from the second-quarter change. Final sales of computers added 0.29 percentage point to the third-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.03 percentage point to the second-quarter change.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 0.7 percent in the third quarter, 0.1 percentage point less than the second estimate; this index increased 0.1 percent in the second quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.4 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 0.8 percent in the second.

Current-dollar GDP – the market value of the nation's output of goods and services – increased 4.6 percent, or $166.4 billion, in the third quarter to a level of $14,745.1 billion. In the second quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 3.7 percent, or $132.3 billion.

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