Feds confirm GDP decreased for two consecutive quarters this year

PROMO Economy - Sign Recession Ahead Inflation - iStock - gguy44
Published Friday, August 26, 2022
by Casey Harper

(The Center Square) - The U.S. Gross Domestic Product decreased by 0.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, new data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis released Thursday shows, confirming a recession. In the first quarter of this year, GDP decreased by 1.6 percent.

"Real GDP decreased less in the second quarter than in the first quarter, decreasing 0.6 percent after decreasing 1.6 percent," BEA said. "The smaller decrease reflected an upturn in exports and a smaller decrease in federal government spending that were partly offset by a larger decline in private inventory investment, a slowdown in consumer spending, and downturns in nonresidential fixed investment and residential fixed investment. Imports decelerated."

The initial "advance estimates" released in late July reported that GDP decreased by 0.9 percent, setting off national concern since two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth is the standard definition of a recession.

"The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the 'advance' estimate issued last month," BEA said. "In the advance estimate, the decrease in real GDP was 0.9 percent. The update primarily reflects upward revisions to consumer spending and private inventory investment that were partly offset by a downward revision to residential fixed investment..."

But the BEA's update Thursday shows the numbers were slightly better than originally thought.

"The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending, that were partly offset by increases in exports and consumer spending," BEA said. "Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased..."

The Biden administration has pushed back against economists and analysts who say the U.S. is in a recession by pointing to good unemployment numbers and the recovery from the COVID-era shutdowns, among other things.

But others say the Biden administration is playing politics with the numbers.

"Joe Biden inherited a recovery and created 40-year-high inflation and a recession," Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said.

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