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Technical Note
Gross Domestic Product
First Quarter of 2012 (Third Estimate)
June 28, 2012
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 first 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

Real GDP increased 1.9 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter, the same increase as
last month’s estimate.  A downward revision to imports and an upward revision to
nonresidential fixed investment offset downward revisions to exports and to personal
consumption expenditures (PCE).

*	The downward revisions to imports and to exports were in both goods and
        services and reflected revised data from BEA’s international transactions
        accounts (ITAs).

*	The upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment was primarily accounted
        for by an upward revision to structures reflecting the incorporation of revised
        construction data from the Census Bureau and revised data on petroleum and
        natural gas drilling from the Department of Energy.

*	The downward revision to PCE reflected revisions to both goods and services.
        The revision to goods reflected the incorporation of newly available Energy
        Information Administration gasoline supply data for March and revised March
        retail sales from the Census Bureau.  The revision to services reflected the
        incorporation of newly available first-quarter data from the Census Bureau’s
        quarterly services survey (QSS) and newly available first-quarter FDIC Call
        Report data for service charges on deposit accounts.

The price index for gross domestic purchases—the prices paid by U.S. residents for
goods and services wherever produced—increased 2.6 percent in the first quarter, 0.2
percentage point more than in last month’s estimate.  The revision was mostly
accounted for by upward revisions to PCE prices for financial services and for health
care services.  Revisions to financial services prices reflected the incorporation of newly
available FDIC data and revised earnings of portfolio management and investment
advice service industries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Current Employment
Statistics.  The revision to health care services prices reflected revised January PPIs
from the BLS.


Gross Domestic Income and Corporate Profits

Real gross domestic income (GDI), which measures the output of the economy as the
costs incurred and the incomes earned in the production of GDP, increased 3.1 percent
in the first quarter.  Real GDI increased 2.6 percent and real GDP increased 3.0 percent
in the previous quarter.  For a given quarter, the estimates of GDP and GDI may differ
for a variety of reasons, including the incorporation of largely independent source data.
However, over longer time spans, the estimates of GDP and GDI tend to follow similar
patterns of change.

Profits from current production decreased $6.4 billion, or 0.3 percent (quarterly rate), in
the first quarter.  Domestic profits of financial corporations increased $26.3 billion,
domestic profits of nonfinancial corporations increased $15.4 billion, and rest-of-the-
world profits decreased $48.1 billion.


Annual Revision of BEA’s International Transactions Accounts

The estimates released today incorporate the results of the annual revision of BEA’s
international transactions accounts (ITAs) released on June 14.  The ITAs were revised
back to 2009 and were incorporated into the national income and product accounts
(NIPAs) for the first quarter on a best-change basis.

The ITAs were incorporated on a best-change basis to ensure that the fourth-to-first-
quarter changes in the NIPA estimates were consistent with the changes in the
corresponding estimates published in the ITAs.  BEA will incorporate the revised ITA
estimates on a best-level basis into the GDP accounts back to 2009 as part of its annual
revision of the NIPAs, scheduled for release on July 27.  At that time, the dollar levels of
the estimates will be consistent between the ITAs and the NIPAs.


Annual Revision Scheduled for July 27

The GDP news release on July 27 will present the annual revision of the NIPAs.  In
addition to presenting the advance estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2012,
most estimates, including GDP, national income, personal income, and their
components, will be revised from the first quarter of 2009 through the first quarter of
2012. The revised estimates will incorporate source data that are more complete and
more detailed than those previously available.  The August Survey of Current Business
will contain an article that describes the annual revision in detail.

Additional information about the annual revision, including draft versions of the revised
NIPA table formats, has been posted on BEA’s Web site here:
www.bea.gov/national/table_layouts_20120614.htm.

Nicole Mayerhauser
Chief, National Income and Wealth Division
Bureau of Economic Analysis
(202) 606-9715