GDP report: US economy is expanding

The economy may be growing at a faster rate than initially thought, with the real GDP expanding at  an annualized rate of 3 percent from the third quarter of 2011.

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This chart shows the annual change in the size of the annual gross domestic product since 1999. The GDP is expanding at a faster rate than previously predicted, 3 percent since the third quarter of 2011.

Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released their third "estimate" of the Q4 2011 GDP report showing that the economy continued to expand at a faster pace than initially estimated with real GDP increasing at an annualized rate of 3.0% from Q3 2011.

On a year-over-year basis real GDP increased 1.61% while the quarter-to-quarter non-annualized percent change was 0.73%.

The latest quarterly results indicate that the most notable source of weakness in the economy came from government defense spending which declined at a rate of 12.1% from Q3 while change in private nonfarm inventories made notable contributions accounting for 1.81% of the percent change of final real GDP while providing the majority of the 22.1% quarter-to-quarter rate of change for the entire Gross Private Domestic Investment category. 

That very same category also saw fixed residential investment expand at a rate of 11.6% while fixed non-residential structures declined at a rate of 0.9% over the same period.

Keep in mind that these results are likely very poorly estimated and are sure to be revised notably in following quarters and even years to come.

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