Third-quarter GDP up 3.0% vs expected 2.5%

On Friday, the Commerce Department said the real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.0 percent in the third quarter of 2017, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.

"Today’s release of the gross domestic product growth for Q3 2017 proves that President Trump’s bold agenda is steadily overcoming the dismal economy inherited from the previous Administration. This is a remarkable achievement in view of the recent hurricanes which have shattered so many lives. As we work together to help those areas recover, I am confident that they will rebound stronger than ever before.

"And as the President’s tax cut plan is implemented, our entire economy will continue to come roaring back," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

Many economists had forecast the economy growing at a 2.5 percent pace in the third quarter.

The third-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency. A "second" estimate for the third quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on November 29, 2017.

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, and federal government spending. These increases were partly offset by negative contributions from residential fixed investment and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the third quarter primarily reflected decelerations in PCE, in nonresidential fixed investment, and in exports that were partly offset by an acceleration in private inventory investment and a downturn in imports.

Current-dollar GDP increased 5.2 percent, or $245.5 billion, in the third quarter to a level of $19,495.5 billion. In the second quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 4.1 percent, or $192.3 billion.

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.8 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 0.9 percent in the second quarter. The PCE price index increased 1.5 percent, compared with an increase of 0.3 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index
increased 1.3 percent, compared with an increase of 0.9 percent.

Current-dollar personal income increased $113.7 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $119.1 billion in the second. The deceleration in personal income primarily reflected decelerations in personal dividend income, in rental income, and in wages and salaries that were offset by an acceleration in government social benefits, a smaller decrease in personal interest income, an acceleration in nonfarm proprietors’ income, and a smaller decrease in farm proprietors’ income.

Disposable personal income increased $73.6 billion, or 2.1 percent, in the third quarter, compared with an increase of $125.1 billion, or 3.6 percent, in the second. Real disposable personal income increased 0.6 percent, compared with an increase of 3.3 percent.

Personal saving was $494.8 billion in the third quarter, compared with $545.6 billion in the second. The personal saving rate -- personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income -- was 3.4 percent in the third quarter, compared with 3.8 percent in the second.