Real gross domestic product - the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the U.S. - decreased at an annual rate of 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, (from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP decreased 6.3 percent.
The Bureau emphasized that the first-quarter advance estimates are based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. The first-quarter "preliminary" estimates, based on more comprehensive data, will be released on May 29, 2009.
The decrease in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected negative contributions from exports, private inventory investment, equipment and software, nonresidential structures, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a positive contribution from personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.
The slightly smaller decrease in real GDP in the first quarter than in the fourth reflected an upturn in PCE for durable and nondurable goods and a larger decrease in imports that were mostly offset by larger decreases in private inventory investment and in nonresidential structures and a downturn in federal government spending.
Motor vehicle output subtracted 1.36 percentage points from the first-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 2.01 percentage points from the fourth-quarter change. Final sales of computers added 0.05 percentage point to the first-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.02 percentage point from the fourth-quarter change.