U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose at an annualized rate of 2 percent in the third quarter of 2012, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Although this is the thirteenth consecutive quarter of GDP growth, the data shows that the economy continues to recover at a slow pace. Most of the growth in GDP over the second quarter of 2012 was driven by consumer spending, as shown in the graph below. Government spending was another area that contributed to GDP growth, as defense expenditures rose last quarter. The other components of GDP showed weakness: exports dropped for the first time in more than three years, and private investments slowed. Imports also declined.
The graph below shows the contribution of each component of Real GDP from quarter to quarter. In the third quarter of 2012, consumer spending made up 1.4 percentage points of the growth in GDP. Government spending also increased over the second quarter, chipping in 0.7 percentage point to GDP growth. Private investment had a small impact on growth in the third quarter, contributing 0.1 percentage point. Net exports (exports minus imports) had a negative effect of -0.2 percentage point.
These data are preliminary, and subject to revision. To view the official press release and get more details on GDP, visit the Bureau of Economic Analysis website.