Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013 (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to the third estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 0.4%.
The GDP estimate is based on more complete source data than were available for the "second" estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, real GDP increased 2.4%. With the third estimate for the first quarter, the increase in personal consumption expenditures (PCE) was less than previously estimated, and exports and imports are now estimated to have declined.
The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from PCE, private inventory investment, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal government spending, state and local government spending, and exports. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.
The decrease in nonfinancial corporations primarily reflected decreases in "other" nonfinancial and in manufacturing that were partly offset by increases in information and in wholesale trade. Within manufacturing, the largest decreases were in petroleum and coal products and in machinery.