Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2% in the third quarter of 2021, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In the second quarter, real GDP increased 6.7%.
The GDP estimate released Thursday is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency, the BEA said.
The “second” estimate for the third quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on Nov. 24.
The increase in real GDP in the third quarter reflected increases in private inventory investment, personal consumption expenditures, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by decreases in residential fixed investment, federal government spending, and exports.
Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased, according to the BEA.
“The increase in third quarter GDP reflected the continued economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the BEA said. “A resurgence of COVID-19 cases resulted in new restrictions and delays in the reopening of establishments in some parts of the country. Government assistance payments in the form of forgivable loans to businesses, grants to state and local governments, and social benefits to households all decreased. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the GDP estimate for the third quarter because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”
Current-dollar GDP increased 7.8% at an annual rate, or $432.5 billion, in the third quarter to a level of $23.17 trillion.
In the second quarter, GDP increased 13.4%, or $702.8 billion.
The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 5.4% in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 5.8% in the second quarter.
The PCE price index increased 5.3%, compared with an increase of 6.5%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 4.5%, compared with an increase of 6.1%.