Welcome to the Cooley-Rupert Economic Snapshot, our view of the current economic environment. This is the latest version of our snapshot of the U.S. Economy based on the final revisions to fourth quarter data on National Income and Product from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. As in previous snapshots we present the data in a way that we find particularly useful for assessing where we are in the business cycle and tracking the U.S. economic recovery. The paths of all the series presented are plotted relative to the their value at the peak of the respective business cycles. We use the business cycle dates identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
We present the data in four sections. The first summarizes the path of Gross Domestic Product and its components. This post primarily updates GDP and its components based on preliminary estimates of fourth quarter activity from the BEA. We also include the most recent labor market data and the summary of activity in credit markets. The final section summarizes the features of industrial production and inflation.
As always we welcome any suggestions for additional data that you would like to see and suggestions for how to improve the presentation of the data. Click here to go to the latest snapshot in one pdf document. Or, read on
Final Fourth Quarter GDP Revisions
The third and final estimate of GDP and its components confirms that real GDP grew at an annual rate of 3% in the fourth quarter of 2011. While there was no change in the total, there were changes to the components of GDP that roughly offset each other. Personal consumption expenditures on goods were revised up further from 4.9% to 5.4% annual growth. Growth in services, however, was revised down further from 0.7% to 0.4% and continues to drag down growth in total consumption. It remains at least 5 percentage points below where its path should be compared to “typical” previous cycles and is showing signs of slowing down. Gross private investment was revised upward to 22.1% from 20.6%. Notably, growth in nonresidential structures was revised up to -0.9% from -2.6% in the ‘second’ estimate and -7.2% in the preliminary estimate.