The Second Estimate for Q2 GDP rose better-than-expected to 2.5 percent. Investing.com had forecast 2.2 percent and Briefing.com expected 2.1 percent. The upside surprise was largely the result of changes in the Net Exports (Exports minus Imports) component.
Here is an excerpt from the Bureau of Economic Analysis news release:
Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013 (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 1.1 percent.
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 1.7 percent. With this second estimate for the second quarter, the increase in exports was larger than previously estimated, and the increase in imports was smaller than previously estimated (see "Revisions" on page 3).
The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.
The acceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected upturns in exports and in nonresidential fixed investment and a smaller decrease in federal government spending that were partly offset by an acceleration in imports and decelerations in private inventory investment and in PCE. [Full Release]
Here is a look at GDP since Q2 1947 together with the real (inflation-adjusted) S&P Composite. The start date is when the BEA began reporting GDP on a quarterly basis. Prior to 1947, GDP was reported annually. To be more precise, what the lower half of the chart shows is the percent change from the preceding period in Real (inflation-adjusted) Gross Domestic Product. I've also included recessions, which are determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Here is a close-up of GDP alone with a line to illustrate the 3.3 average (arithmetic mean) for the quarterly series since the 1947, with the latest GDP revisions. This number had been at 3.3 for 14 quarters, slipped to 3.2 in Q4 of 2012, and is now back to 3.3. I've also plotted the 10-year moving average, currently at 1.8. The current GDP is now above this moving average.
Here is the same chart with a linear regression that illustrates the gradual decline in GDP over this timeframe.
Perhaps the most telling representation of slowing growth in the U.S. economy is the year-over-year rate of change. The latest data point is lower than the onset of all recessions except the one that started in January 1980.
And for a bit of political trivia, here is a look at GDP by party in control of the White House and Congress.
In summary, the Q2 GDP Second Estimate of 2.5 percent was higher than expectations, thanks largely to the upward revision to Net Exports.