Downturns in manufacturing, retail trade, and finance and insurance industries were the leading contributors to the slowdown in U.S. economic growth in 2008, according to preliminary statistics on the breakout of real gross domestic product (GDP) by industry from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The economic slowdown was widespread: nearly two-thirds of private industries contributed to the deceleration in real GDP growth.
- Manufacturing value added—a measure of an industry’s contribution to GDP—fell 2.7 percent in 2008 after rising 2.9 percent in 2007. Durable-goods manufacturing turned down for the first time since 2001, decreasing 1.3 percent. Nondurable-goods manufacturing fell 4.6 percent, after slowing to 0.4 percent in 2007.
- Retail trade industries’ value added fell 0.5 percent in 2008, its first decline since 1991.
- Finance and insurance industries’ value added dropped 3.0 percent in 2008, its first decline since 1992.
Slower growth in the value added prices for professional and business services and agriculture industries contributed most to the slowdown in the GDP price index for 2008. Value added prices, which measure changes in an industry’s labor and capital inputs prices including profit margins, accelerated sharply in manufacturing, primarily reflecting increases for petroleum.