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Technical Note
Gross Domestic Product
Second Quarter of 2013 (Advance Estimate)
July 31, 2013
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

Real GDP

Real GDP increased 1.7 percent (annual rate) in the second quarter of 2013, following
an increase of 1.1 percent (revised) in the first quarter. The acceleration in real GDP in
the second quarter reflected upturns in nonresidential fixed investment and in exports,
a smaller decrease in federal government spending, and an upturn in state and local
government spending that were partly offset by an acceleration in imports and
decelerations in private inventory investment and in consumer spending.

Source Data for the Advance Estimate

The advance GDP estimate for the second quarter of 2013 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; motor vehicle sales and
inventories; durable manufacturing 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 nondurable manufacturing inventories,
*	a decrease in non-motor-vehicle merchant wholesale and retail inventories,
*	a decrease in exports of goods, excluding gold, and
*	a decrease in imports of goods, excluding gold.


The price index for gross domestic purchases—the prices paid by U.S. residents for
goods and services wherever produced—increased 0.3 percent in the second quarter
after increasing 1.2 percent in the first. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index
for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8 percent after increasing 1.4 percent.

Disposable Personal Income

Real disposable personal income (DPI) increased 3.4 percent in the second quarter,
following a decrease of 8.2 percent in the first. The upturn in real DPI reflected upturns in
personal dividend income and in wages and salaries and a deceleration in contributions
for government social insurance. The first-quarter decline in dividend income primarily
reflected the accelerated and special dividends that were paid by many companies in the
fourth quarter of 2012. The first-quarter decline in wages and salaries is based on the
incorporation of preliminary quarterly census of employment and wages data from the
Bureau of Labor Statistics. The first-quarter increase in contributions for government
social insurance reflected the expiration of the “payroll tax holiday” that increased the
social security contribution rate for employees and self-employed workers by 2.0
percentage points.

The personal saving rate was 4.5 percent in the second quarter, compared with 4.0
percent (revised) in the first.

Comprehensive Revision

Today’s GDP news release presents results from the comprehensive revision of the
national income and product accounts. The revision reflects previously announced
changes in definitions, presentations, and methodologies, and incorporates source data
that are more complete, more detailed, and otherwise more reliable than those
previously available. Expenditures for research and development and for the creation of
entertainment, literary, and artistic originals are now recognized as fixed investment.
Transactions of defined benefit pension plans are recorded on an accrual accounting
basis, which recognizes the costs of unfunded liabilities. The reference year for chain-
type price and quantity indexes and chained-dollar estimates has been updated to 2009.

Shortly after the GDP release, BEA will post a table on its Web site, www.bea.gov,
showing the selected component detail and major source data for the comprehensive
revision. A detailed discussion of the results will be published in the September issue of
the Survey.

In the revised estimates real GDP increased 2.8 percent in 2012; in the previously
published estimates, real GDP had increased 2.2 percent.  Revisions to GDP growth for
years prior to 2012 were smaller and reflected the changes in definitions and methods
and the incorporation of benchmark source data, such as the 2007 benchmark input-
output accounts, as well as regular annual source data.

For the period of contraction from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the second quarter of
2009, real GDP decreased at an average annual rate of 2.9 percent; in the previously
published estimates, it decreased 3.2 percent. For the period of expansion from the
second quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2013, real GDP increased at an average
annual rate of 2.2 percent; in the previously published estimates it had increased 2.1

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