Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP also increased 2.1%.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 2.1%. In the second estimate, an upward revision to private inventory investment was offset by a downward revision to nonresidential fixed investment.


The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), federal government spending, exports, residential fixed investment and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and nonresidential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

Real GDP growth in the fourth quarter was the same as that in the third. In the fourth quarter, a downturn in imports and an acceleration in government spending were offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment and a slowdown in PCE.

Current dollar GDP increased 3.5%, or $184.2 billion, in the fourth quarter to a level of $21.73 trillion. In the third quarter, GDP increased 3.8%, or $202.3 billion.

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.4% in the fourth quarter, the same increase as in the third quarter. The PCE price index increased 1.3%, compared with an increase of 1.5%. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.2%, compared with an increase of 2.1%.

Updates to GDP

In the second estimate, the fourth-quarter growth rate in real GDP was unrevised from the advance estimate. Private inventory investment, exports, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment were revised up. These upward revisions were offset by downward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, PCE, state and local government spending, and an upward revision to imports.


For the third quarter of 2019, the percent change in real GDI was revised from 2.1% to 1.2% based on new third-quarter data from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.