GDP for 4th Quarter 2008
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has updated their advanced estimate of GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2008 and it is not good at all.
Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — decreased at an annual rate of 6.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to preliminary estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP decreased 0.5 percent.
The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the advance estimates issued last month. In the advance estimates, the decrease in real GDP was 3.8 percent (see “Revisions” on page 3).
The decrease in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected negative contributions from exports, personal consumption expenditures, equipment and software, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a positive contribution from federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.
This is decidedly worse economic performance and as such it is likely that this recession could very well be the worst on record since WWII. I still don’t think it is Great Depression style bad, but it is indeed very bad.
UPDATE (Dave Schuler)
To put this decline in some perspective I think we need to recognize that a) ours is not the only economy that’s declining; b) our decline isn’t as bad as many; and c) last year’s decline was nothing like the Great Depression.
|U. S. (1932)||13%|