Home > News Release: Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2009
BEA 09-17


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Lisa Mataloni : (202) 606-5304 (GDP)
Recorded message: (202) 606-5306  
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT: FIRST QUARTER 2009 (ADVANCE)

        Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- decreased at an annual rate of 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009, (that
is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of
Economic Analysis.  In the fourth quarter, real GDP decreased 6.3 percent.

	The Bureau emphasized that the first-quarter “advance” estimates are based on source data that
are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 4).  The first-
quarter “preliminary” estimates, based on more comprehensive data, will be released on May 29, 2009.

	The decrease in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected negative contributions from
exports, private inventory investment, equipment and software, nonresidential structures, and residential
fixed investment that were partly offset by a positive contribution from personal consumption
expenditures (PCE).  Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

	The slightly smaller decrease in real GDP in the first quarter than in the fourth reflected an upturn
in PCE for durable and nondurable goods and a larger decrease in imports that were mostly offset by
larger decreases in private inventory investment and in nonresidential structures and a downturn in
federal government spending.

	Motor vehicle output subtracted 1.36 percentage points from the first-quarter change in real GDP
after subtracting 2.01 percentage points from the fourth-quarter change.  Final sales of computers added
0.05 percentage point to the first-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.02 percentage point
from the fourth-quarter change.

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FOOTNOTE.--Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise
specified.  Quarter-to-quarter dollar changes are differences between these published estimates.
Percent changes are calculated from unrounded data and are annualized.  “Real” estimates are in chained
(2000) dollars.  Price indexes are chain-type measures.

	This news release is available on BEA’s Web site along with the Technical Note and Highlights
related to this release.
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BOX
              Comprehensive Revision of the National Income and Product Accounts

     BEA plans to release the results of the 13th comprehensive (or benchmark) revision of the national
income and product accounts (NIPAs), as part of the annual revision on July 31, 2009.  More
information on the revision is available on BEA’s Web site at www.bea.gov/national/an1.htm, including
a link to an article in the March 2009 issue of the Survey of Current Business that discussed the changes
in definitions and presentation that will be implemented in the revision.  An article in the May Survey
will describe changes in statistical methods, and the September Survey will contain an article that
describes the results of the revision in detail.  The Web site also contains links to redesigned PCE table
stubs; other revised NIPA table stubs and press release stubs will be available in June.
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	The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents,
decreased 1.0 percent in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 3.9 percent in the fourth.
Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.4 percent in
the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2 percent in the fourth.  The federal pay raise for
civilian and military personnel added 0.3 percentage point to the change in the first quarter gross
domestic purchases price index.

	Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.2 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 4.3 percent in the fourth.  Durable goods increased 9.4 percent, in contrast to a decrease of
22.1 percent.  Nondurable goods increased 1.3 percent, in contrast to a decrease of 9.4 percent.  Services
increased 1.5 percent, the same increase as in the fourth.

          Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 37.9 percent in the first quarter, compared with a
decrease of 21.7 percent in the fourth.  Nonresidential structures decreased 44.2 percent, compared with
a decrease of 9.4 percent.  Equipment and software decreased 33.8 percent, compared with a decrease of
28.1 percent.  Real residential fixed investment decreased 38.0 percent, compared with a decrease of
22.8 percent.

	Real exports of goods and services decreased 30.0 percent in the first quarter, compared with a
decrease of 23.6 percent in the fourth.  Real imports of goods and services decreased 34.1 percent,
compared with a decrease of 17.5 percent.

	Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 4.0 percent in
the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 7.0 percent in the fourth.  National defense decreased 6.4
percent, in contrast to an increase of 3.4 percent.  Nondefense increased 1.3 percent, compared with an
increase of 15.3 percent.  Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross
investment decreased 3.9 percent, compared with a decrease of 2.0 percent.

	The real change in private inventories subtracted 2.79 percentage points from the first-quarter
change in real GDP after subtracting 0.11 percentage point from the fourth-quarter change.  Private
businesses decreased inventories $103.7 billion in the first quarter, following decreases of $25.8 billion
in the fourth quarter and $29.6 billion in the third.

	Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- decreased 3.4
percent in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 6.2 percent in the fourth.


Gross domestic purchases

	Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever
produced -- decreased 7.8 percent in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 5.9 percent in the
fourth.


Disposition of personal income

	Current-dollar personal income decreased $59.9 billion (2.0 percent) in the first quarter, compared
with a decrease of $42.9 billion (1.4 percent) in the fourth.

	Personal current taxes decreased $193.5 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of
$19.7 billion in the fourth.

	Disposable personal income increased $133.6 billion (5.1 percent) in the first quarter, in contrast
to a decrease of $62.6 billion (2.3 percent) in the fourth.  Real disposable personal income increased 6.2
percent, compared with an increase of 2.7 percent.

	Personal outlays increased $18.1 billion (0.7 percent) in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease
of $260.2 billion (9.5 percent) in the fourth.  Personal saving -- disposable personal income less personal
outlays -- was $453.0 billion in the first quarter, compared with $337.4 billion in the fourth.  The
personal saving rate -- saving as a percentage of disposable personal income -- was 4.2 percent in the
first quarter, compared with 3.2 percent in the fourth.  For a comparison of personal saving in BEA’s
national income and product accounts with personal saving in the Federal Reserve Board’s flow of funds
accounts and data on changes in net worth, go to http://www.bea.gov/bea/dn/nipaweb/Nipa-Frb.asp.


Current-dollar GDP

	Current-dollar GDP -- the market value of the nation's output of goods and services -- decreased
3.5 percent, or $124.8 billion, in the first quarter to a level of $14,075.5 billion.  In the fourth quarter,
current-dollar GDP decreased 5.8 percent, or $212.5 billion.

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BOX

     Information on the assumptions used for unavailable source data is provided in a technical note
that is posted with the news release on BEA's Web site.  Within a few days after the release, a detailed
"Key Source Data and Assumptions" file is posted on the Web site.  In the middle of each month, an
analysis of the current quarterly estimates of GDP and related series is made available on the Web site;
click on Survey of Current Business, "GDP and the Economy."

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                          Next release – May 29, 2009, at 8:30 A.M. EDT for:
                          Gross Domestic Product:  First Quarter 2009 (Preliminary)
                          Corporate Profits:  First Quarter 2009