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Technical Note Gross Domestic Product Fourth Quarter of 2009 (Second Estimate) February 26, 2010 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 fourth 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"). Sources of Revision to Real GDP The real GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter was revised from 5.7 percent to 5.9 percent (annual rate). * Imports and exports were revised up, reflecting newly available Census Bureau goods data for December. * Inventory investment was revised up, reflecting newly available Census inventory data for December and revised data for November. * Business investment in software was revised up, reflecting newly available revenue data from fourth-quarter financial statements of software companies. The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter, a downward revision of 0.2 percentage point from the advance estimate. This revision was mostly due to prices for personal consumption expenditures and reflected revised Bureau of Labor Statistics seasonally adjusted consumer price indexes. Revisions to Wages and Salaries and Disposable Personal Income In addition to presenting revised estimates for the fourth quarter, today's release also presents revised estimates of third-quarter wages and salaries, personal taxes, and contributions for government social insurance. Wage and salary disbursements are now estimated to have decreased $63.9 billion in the third quarter, a downward revision of $84.0 billion. These estimates reflect newly available wage and salary tabulations for the third quarter from the BLS quarterly census of employment and wages. These data are more comprehensive than the monthly employment and earnings data that were used for the earlier estimates—the QCEW data include the pay of supervisors and irregular pay, such as bonuses and gains from the exercise of stock options. Real disposable personal income is now estimated to have decreased 3.6 percent in the third quarter and to have increased 1.9 percent in the fourth. (By comparison, the estimates that were available last month showed a decrease of 1.4 percent in the third quarter and an increase of 2.1 percent in the fourth.) Brent R. Moulton Associate Director for National Economic Accounts Bureau of Economic Analysis (202) 606-9606