Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose at an annual quarter-over-quarter rate of 3.1% for Q3 2012, according to a third estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis released today [link opens in PDF]. This follows a 1.3% increase in the second quarter and refines the previous estimate of a 2.7% increase for the third quarter.
The Bureau noted changes from the second estimate to this one in personal consumption expenditures and imports. The numbers show a moderate 1.6% increase in personal consumption expenditures and a 0.6% decline in imports in the quarter.
GDP is a way to quantify a country's production of goods and services, and it's officially measured as: GDP = consumption + investment + government spending + (exports-imports).
Positive contributions for Q3 came mostly from investment (private inventory and residential fixed), federal government spending (+9.5%), an increase in exports (+1.9%), and a decrease in imports (-0.6%). The largest negative pull on GDP came from nonresidential fixed investment (-1.8%).
The Bureau of Economic Analysis' Q3 2012 GDP estimates have improved with each consecutive release. The advance percent change was released as 2%, the second estimate came in at 2.7%, and this most recent data puts GDP growth up an additional 0.4 percentage points to 3.1%.