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Technical Note

The tables in this note are available in an XLS spreadsheet, and the entire note is available in PDF format.

                         Technical Note
                     Gross Domestic Product
              Third Quarter of 2004 (Preliminary)
                       November 30, 2004
  
  
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 third quarter is available on BEA's Web site <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 ("The Business Situation").  

Sources of Revision to Real GDP
     
Real GDP growth in the third quarter was revised from 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent.  An
upward revision to net exports and upward revisions to consumer spending for nondurable
goods and to business investment in equipment and software were largely offset by a
downward revision to inventory investment. 

   . The upward revision to net exports primarily reflected newly available Census
     Bureau data on exports and imports of goods for September.
   . The upward revision to consumer spending for nondurable goods reflected revised
     Census retail sales data for August and September.
   . The upward revision to equipment and software investment was primarily based on
     revised Census shipments data for September.
   . The downward revision to inventory investment was primarily to wholesale trade,
     manufacturing, and retail trade industries, reflecting newly available Census
     inventory data for September and revised data for August.  Farm inventories were
     revised up, reflecting newly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Revisions to Wages and Salaries and Related Series

In addition to presenting preliminary estimates for the third quarter, today's news release
presents revised estimates of second-quarter wages and salaries, personal taxes, and
contributions for government social insurance that reflect newly available Bureau of Labor
Statistics tabulations of wages and salaries of employees covered by state unemployment
insurance.

Wage and salary accruals are now estimated to have increased $70.7 billion in the second
quarter, an upward revision of $10.0 billion, and real disposable personal income (DPI) is
now estimated to have increased 0.4 percent in the second quarter, an upward revision of
0.4 percentage point.  Real DPI in the third quarter is now estimated to have increased 2.0
percent, an upward revision of 0.6 percentage point.


Note:  Previously, the supplemental price index for "market-based" personal consumption
expenditures (covering household purchases of goods and services for which explicit
prices are charged) was shown in table B of the Technical Note.  Beginning today,
information on this price index will be shown in tables 6 and 8 and in appendix table A of
the GDP news release.


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


       Table A. SOURCE DATA FOR THE ADVANCE AND PRELIMINARY
          ESTIMATES OF GDP FOR THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2004

This table shows the actual data used for the preliminary estimate of GDP for the third quarter of 2004.  For
these key series actual data for September were not available in time for inclusion in the advance GDP
estimate released on October 29, 2004, and BEA made assumptions for these source data.  The numbers 
in brackets show the September values that had been assumed for the advance estimate.  For most series,
the data incorporated for August and, in some cases, for July were preliminary, and the numbers shown in
brackets are the values used last month.

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.
                                                       
                                                                                2004
                                                  April         May       Jun.        Jul.        Aug.       Sept.
 Private fixed investment:

   Nonresidential structures:    
1     Value of new total private
        construction put in place less
        residential (inc. improvements)......      221.6       220.9      220.4       223.8       225.4      225.8
                                                                                     {225.3}     {227.0}    {226.2}
  Equipment and software:
2   Manufacturers' shipments of
      complete aircraft.......................      24.6        31.3       25.7        22.2        28.9       27.4
                                                                                      {27.4}      {23.4}     {20.8}
  Residential structures:                                                          
    Value of new residential
      construction put in place:
3     Single family...........................     360.0       369.0      370.4       371.9       380.5      377.6
                                                                                     {372.8}     {380.7}    {381.2}
4     Multifamily.............................      37.8        38.5       39.3        39.8        40.0       40.0
                                                                                      {39.6}      {40.0}     {40.0}

  Change in private inventories: 
   
5     Change in inventories for nondurable                        
        manufacturing.......................         6.3        13.7       21.9        16.6        12.1        0.2
                                                                                                  { 7.2}     {15.6}
5a    Change in inventories for merchant
        wholesale and retail industries other
        than motor vehicles and equipment.......    34.9        72.0       58.6        49.6        50.9       28.3
                                                                                                  {47.2}     {64.8}
                                                                                                                             
 Net exports:                                                                                                           
                                                           
  Exports of goods:                                                           
6   U.S. exports of goods,
      international-transactions-
      accounts basis...........................    791.4       824.3      776.1       809.5       816.1      827.3
                                                                                                 {808.7}    {823.4}
6a        Excluding gold.......................    787.9       820.6      772.8       804.9       812.2      821.0
                                                                                                 {804.8}    {819.8}
                                                                                               
   Imports of goods:                                                                           
7    U.S. imports of goods,
       international-transactions-
       accounts basis..........................   1427.2      1442.0     1485.5      1466.7      1499.9     1494.1
                                                                                                {1498.0}   {1513.1}
7a        Excluding gold.......................   1423.4      1439.2     1482.3      1462.3      1496.5     1489.9
                                                                                                {1494.6}   {1509.5}
     
8   Net exports of goods.......................   -635.9      -617.7     -709.4      -657.1      -683.8     -666.8
                                                                                                {-689.3}   {-689.7}
    8a    Excluding gold.......................   -635.5      -618.6     -709.4      -657.5      -684.3     -668.8
                                                                                                {-689.8}   {-689.7}
 Government:
                                                           
  State and local:
    Structures:
9     Value of new construction put
        in place...............................    221.1       219.2      220.5       220.3       218.2      219.2
                                                                                     {222.4}     {220.2}    {221.3}