Home Economics Q4 GDP Revised Higher To 2.1% As Consumers Splurge On “Foreign Travel...

Q4 GDP Revised Higher To 2.1% As Consumers Splurge On “Foreign Travel And Recreation Services”


In the third and final estimate of Q4 GDP, the BEA revised the previous estimate of 1.8% notably higher to 2.1%, driven by a sharp upward revision to consumer spending, which rose 3.5% in Q4, after rising 3.0% in Q2, and contributed 2.4% to the bottom GDP line – in other words consumption alone was more than the entire GDP increase- up from 2.05% in the second revision.

The increase in real GDP reflected an increase in consumer spending, private inventory investment, residential investment, business investment, and state and local government spending. These contributions were partly offset by declines in exports and federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. Trade subtracted 1.82 percentage points from growth, the most since 2004, compared with the prior estimate of a 1.7-point drag, on weaker exports and higher imports

The biggest contributor to the upward revision to consumption reflected spending on net foreign travel and recreation services, as well as gasoline and other energy goods

Prices of goods and services purchased by U.S. residents increased 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter after increasing 1.5 percent in the third quarter. Excluding energy and food, prices rose 1.6 percent after increasing 1.7 percent.

The final revision also presented the latest update to corporate profits, which according to the BEA increased 0.5% at a quarterly rate in the fourth quarter after increasing 5.8 percent in the third quarter.
Profits of nonfinancial corporations decreased 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter, profits of financial corporations increased 5.4 percent, and profits from the rest of the world increased 11.0 percent.

In total, corporate profits in the U.S. jumped 9.3 percent from a year earlier, the most since 2012, and rose 0.5 percent from the previous three months, in the first estimate for the fourth quarter.

Other details, courtesy of Bloomberg:

  • Nonresidential fixed investment revised lower on intellectual-property products, reflecting Census data and company financial reports
  • Data represent the last of three GDP estimates for the quarter before annual revisions in July
  • Pre-tax corporate profits were down 0.1 percent for all of 2016, after a 3 percent drop in 2015
  • Inventories added 1.01 percentage point to growth, revised from 0.94 point
  • Stripping out inventories and trade, so-called final sales to domestic purchasers increased at a 2.8 percent rate, revised from a 2.6 percent pace

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