Technical Note
Gross Domestic Product
Second Quarter of 2008 (Advance)
July 31, 2008

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                              Technical Note
                          Gross Domestic Product
                    Second Quarter of 2008 (Advance)
                              July 31, 2008


This technical note provides background information about the source data and
estimating methods used to produce the estimates presented in the GDP news
release.  The complete set of estimates for the second quarter is available on
BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov; a brief summary of "highlights" is also posted
on the Web site.  In a few weeks, the estimates will be published in BEA's
monthly journal, the Survey of Current Business, along with a more detailed
analysis of the estimates ("GDP and the Economy").

GDP Acceleration

Real GDP increased 1.9 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter (that is, from
the first quarter to the second), following an increase of 0.9 percent (revised) in
the first quarter.  The acceleration in real GDP growth reflected the following
factors:

*	The contribution of net exports to GDP growth was larger in the second
        quarter (2.42 percentage points) than in the first (0.77 percentage point).
        Exports accelerated and there was a larger decrease in imports.
*	Residential fixed investment decreased less in the second quarter than in
        the first, subtracting 0.62 percentage point from GDP growth in the second
        quarter after subtracting 1.12 percentage points in the first.
*	Consumer spending picked up, contributing 1.08 percentage points to
        GDP growth in the second quarter after contributing 0.61 percentage point
        in the first.

These factors were partly offset by a larger decrease in inventory investment,
which subtracted 1.92 percentage points from GDP growth in the second quarter
after subtracting 0.02 percentage point in the first.

Source Data for the Advance Estimate

The advance GDP estimate for the second quarter of 2008 is based on source
data that are incomplete and subject to revision.  Three months of source data
were available for consumer spending on goods; shipments of capital equipment
other than aircraft; motor vehicle sales and inventories; manufacturing durables
inventories; federal government outlays; and consumer, producer, and
international prices.  Only two months of data were available for most other key
data sources; BEA's assumptions for the third month are shown in table A.
Among those assumptions are the following:

*	a decrease in single-family residential structures,
*	an increase in nondurable manufacturing inventories,
*       an increase in non-motor-vehicle merchant wholesale and retail inventories,
*	an increase in exports of goods, excluding gold, and
*	an increase in imports of goods, excluding gold.

Prices

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 4.2 percent in the
second quarter after increasing 3.5 percent in the first quarter.  Excluding food
and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.2
percent in the second quarter, the same increase as in the first.  About 0.2
percentage point of the first-quarter increase in the index was accounted for by
the pay raise for federal civilian and military personnel, which is treated as an
increase in the price of employee services purchased by the federal government.

Disposable Personal Income

Real disposable personal income (DPI) increased 11.3 percent in the second
quarter, following a decrease of 0.1 percent in the first.  Current-dollar DPI
increased 15.9 percent, following an increase of 3.5 percent.  The sharp
acceleration in second-quarter DPI reflected the effects of the rebates to
individuals from the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.  The rebate payments
added $311.6 billion (annual rate) to second quarter DPI, of which $112.3 billion
is shown as an increase in personal current transfer receipts and $199.4 billion is
shown as a reduction in personal current taxes.

Annual Revision

Today's GDP news release presents results from the regular annual revision of
the national income and product accounts.  This year's revision covers the
estimates for the most recent three years --from 2005 to 2007-- and the first
quarter of 2008.  The revision incorporates source data that are more complete,
more detailed, and otherwise more reliable than those previously available.  A
table showing the selected component detail and major source data for the
annual revision is posted on the BEA Web site.
(http://www.bea.gov/national/pdf/nipa_revisions.pdf)  A detailed discussion of the
results will be published in the August issue of the Survey.

For 2004-2007, real GDP grew at an average annual rate of 2.6 percent, 0.1
percentage point less than the previously published estimate.  The revision to
GDP growth for 2004-2007 reflected revisions to following components:

*	Real personal consumption expenditures grew at an average annual rate
        of 3.0 percent, compared with the previously published estimate of 3.1
        percent.  Spending for services was revised down, reflecting revised data
        for 2006 and new data for 2007 from the Census Bureau's service annual
        survey and new data for 2007 from the Census Bureau's housing vacancy
        survey.
*	Real residential fixed investment decreased at an average annual rate of
        6.8 percent, compared with the previously published estimate of 5.5
        percent.  The downward revisions reflected revised Census Bureau value-
        of-construction-put-in-place data for 2006 and 2007 and a revised Census
        Bureau price index for single family houses under construction.

These downward revisions for 2004-2007 were partly offset by several upward
revisions:

*	Real exports of goods and services grew at an average annual rate of 8.2
        percent, compared with the previously published estimate of 7.8 percent.
        The revision was mostly to services and reflected revised BEA
        international transactions accounts estimates.
*	Real nonresidential fixed investment in equipment and software increased
        at an average annual rate of 6.0 percent, compared with the previously
        published estimate of 5.6 percent.  The upward revision was primarily to
        software and to industrial equipment.  The revision to software reflected
        revised data for 2006 and new data for 2007 from the Census Bureau's
        service annual survey and new BLS employment data for 2007.  The
        revision to industrial equipment reflected revised data for 2005 and new
        data for 2006 from the Census Bureau's annual survey of manufactures
        and revised Census Bureau monthly industry shipments data for 2007.

For 2004-2007, the average annual rate of increase in the price index for
gross domestic purchases was revised up, from 3.2 percent to 3.3 percent.  The
revision was primarily to prices for residential fixed investment, which were
revised up, from 4.0 percent to 4.8 percent.


Brent R. Moulton
Associate Director for National Economic Accounts
Bureau of Economic Analysis
(202) 606-9606

                        Table A. KEY ASSUMPTIONS FOR THE ADVANCE ESTIMATE OF GDP
                                     FOR THE SECOND QUARTER OF 2008

"For many of the key series used to prepare the advance estimate of GDP, including retail sales,"
"unit automobile and truck sales and inventories, manufacturers' shipments of nondefense"
"capital goods (other than aircraft), manufacturers' inventories of durable goods, federal defense"
"spending, and consumer, producer, and international price indexes, actual data are available for all "
months of the quarter.

"For the key series shown in this table, actual data for the third month of the quarter usually are not"
available in time for inclusion in the advance GDP estimate.  BEA makes assumptions for the source
data that are not yet available; assumptions for June 2008 are shown in the last column of the
"table.  For most series shown, the data for May are preliminary and subject to further revision."
"Occasionally, the data for earlier months are also subject to revision."

"All series shown in the table are in billions of dollars, seasonally adjusted at annual rates, and are"
published by the Bureau of the Census.

                                                                      2008
                                               Jan.      Feb.      Mar.      Apr.      May       Jun.*

Private fixed investment:
   Nonresidential structures:
1     Value of new nonresidential
          construction put in place…………………    389.7     391.6     398.0     404.3     405.3     404.8

   Equipment and software:
2     Manufacturers' shipments of
          complete aircraft………………………………………     52.2      37.3      39.0      41.6      46.2      42.6

   Residential structures:
      Value of new residential
         construction put in place:
3       Single family………………………………………………………    233.8     214.9     212.3     204.1     197.2     190.7

4       Multifamily……………………………………………………………     43.3      43.9      44.0      44.1      44.2      44.2

Change in private inventories:
5   Change in inventories for nondurable
        manufacturing………………………………………………………     62.5      20.7      22.7     -24.0      17.4      22.8

5a  Change in inventories for merchant
        wholesale and retail industries other
        than motor vehicles and equipment…     77.7      32.8      -4.5      80.0      38.0      67.0

Net exports:
   Exports of goods:
"6     U.S. exports of goods,"
          international-transactions-
          accounts basis………………………………………………   1256.2    1297.2    1260.4    1320.7    1330.0    1334.2

6a     Excluding gold………………………………………………………   1238.3    1270.7    1230.9    1296.1    1310.8    1316.5

   Imports of goods:
"7     U.S. imports of goods,"
          international-transactions-
          accounts basis………………………………………………   2098.0    2167.0    2081.2    2196.1    2199.7    2245.3

7a      Excluding gold……………………………………………………   2087.4    2145.4    2059.8    2177.3    2190.0    2234.7

8   Net exports of goods………………………………………………   -841.8    -869.8    -820.8    -875.4    -869.7    -911.1

8a      Excluding gold……………………………………………………   -849.0    -874.7    -828.9    -881.2    -879.2    -918.2

Government:
   State and local:
      Structures:
9       Value of new construction put
            in place…………………………………………………………    268.5     269.4     278.6     276.9     278.4     277.7
____________
*Assumption.