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Technical Note
Gross Domestic Product
Fourth Quarter of 2013 (Advance Estimate)
January 30, 2014
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 online monthly journal, the Survey of
Current Business, along with a more detailed analysis of the estimates ("GDP and the

Real GDP

Real GDP increased 3.2 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2013, following
an increase of 4.1 percent in the third quarter. The deceleration in real GDP growth in
the fourth quarter reflected a deceleration in inventory investment, a larger decrease in
federal government spending, a downturn in residential fixed investment, and
decelerations in state and local government spending and in nonresidential fixed
investment that were partly offset by accelerations in exports and in PCE and a
deceleration in imports.

Source Data for the Advance Estimate

The advance GDP estimate for the fourth 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,
*	an increase 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.

Partial Federal Government Shutdown

Due to a lapse in appropriations, some federal government agencies were closed and
some employees were furloughed from October 1 through October 16. The full effects of
the partial federal government shutdown cannot be quantified because they are
embedded in the regular source data that underlie the estimates and cannot be
separately identified. However, BEA did estimate the effect of the reduction in hours
worked as a reduction in the labor services supplied by federal employees, which
reduced real GDP growth by about 0.3 percentage point in the fourth quarter. After the
shutdown, Congress legislated back pay for furloughed workers. As a result, the
shutdown had no impact on current-dollar federal compensation and was reflected as a
temporary increase in the prices paid for federal employee compensation.


The price index for gross domestic purchases—the prices paid by U.S. residents for
goods and services wherever produced—increased 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter
after increasing 1.8 percent in the third. Excluding food and energy prices, the price
index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7 percent after increasing 1.5 percent.
The partial federal government shutdown, which temporarily increased the prices paid
for federal employee compensation, added about 0.3 percentage point to the growth in
the gross domestic purchases price index in the fourth quarter.

Disposable Personal Income

Real disposable personal income increased 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter, following
an increase of 3.0 percent in the third. The personal saving rate was 4.3 percent in the
fourth quarter, compared with 4.9 percent in the third.

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