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Real gross domestic product – the output of goods and services produced by labor and property in the U.S. – increased at an annual rate of 2 percent in the third quarter of 2012 (from the second quarter to the third quarter), according to an advance estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The second estimate, based on more complete data, will be released at the end of November.
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In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.3 percent.
Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at The Conference Board, said the latest figure indicates that economic growth is slow, “but not slowing.”
“It is difficult for the domestic economy to grow any more robustly, given the relatively soft pace of consumption and investment, weak sentiment among businesses, continued austerity for state and local government spending, weak exports and the looming ‘fiscal cliff,’” she said. “Moreover, the negative headwinds from Europe and Asia look to be more persistent than previously thought. On the plus side, housing is finally turning into a positive factor after a long decline.”
The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, federal government spending and residential fixed investment. It was offset by negative contributions from exports, nonresidential fixed investment and private inventory investment. Imports, a subtraction in GDP, decreased.
Get the latest on where distribution stands in the third-quarter MDM-Baird Distribution Survey.