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Negative Q4 GDP Revised To Barely Positive, Misses Expectations

Tyler Durden's picture


From -0.1% to +0.1% (on expectations of a 0.5% print): the Q4 GDP revision was the smallest possible to make it seem that the US economy grew in the fourth quarter. A quick look at the components, however, reveals more of the same, with a small drop in the consumption contribution to GDP (from 1.52% to 1.47%), Fixed investment growing modestly, as well as imports, while the negative components remained roughly in line, with Inventories detracting the most from growth in Q4, or 1.55%. If JCP is any indication, expectations of aggressive inventory restocking in Q1 may be very optimistic. One thing is clear - the general GDP trendline is ugly, and we may now see downward revisions to Q1 growth forecasts in the aftermath of today's number.

A breakdown showing the various quarterly GDP components:


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Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:45 | Link to Comment Debtless
Debtless's picture

Shocked. Shocked I tell you!

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:49 | Link to Comment GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Wait until you see the revised revisions

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:21 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

if you revise the revised... aren't you where you started off in the first place?



Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:05 | Link to Comment FMR Bankster
FMR Bankster's picture

Growth of .1 of 1% in Q4! Good thing Obama didn't ram through the largest tax increase in the post WW2 period or we could be in real trouble. Wait a minute........

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:56 | Link to Comment Frozen IcQb
Frozen IcQb's picture

The BLS will keep cooking the numbers until the material published here on ZH makes it to page 1 on USA Today. Then and only then will change happen.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:28 | Link to Comment TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

If anyone has an iota of doubt that this print would have been hugely negative BUT FOR the nominal-only growth that trends such as paying more fiat for smaller amounts of necessities (i.e. "inflexible goods") allowed, you get a Krugman Gold Star for the day.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:51 | Link to Comment McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Krugman doesn't usually approve of anything gold-related, but since it's a gold star sticker that's been printed, he'll let it slide.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:20 | Link to Comment Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

So this explains why we are almost at all-time-highs in the stock market! I love asking everyone I meet, so why do you think the economy is doing so well, did you see the stock market? The answers should be recorded and saved and replayed when the system collapses!

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:56 | Link to Comment H E D G E H O G
H E D G E H O G's picture

"aftermath". what the government uses the following month to correct their onerous data lies.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:46 | Link to Comment's picture

New record stock level's here we come!!!

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:46 | Link to Comment doomandbloom
doomandbloom's picture


Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:47 | Link to Comment OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

Well! Isn't that special!

And the band played on...

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:47 | Link to Comment Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture


Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:47 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

this is why bernak was hung over and looked like shit yesterday. he just wishes someone could take him out back and pull an "of mice and men" on him already. he is probably in disbelief that 4 trillion and counting on his balance sheet and negative gdp...the market still climbs. he was probably promised a one way ticket to tahiti when it crashes and his bags have been packed for some time now. i don't blame him for being frustrated.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:28 | Link to Comment fuu
fuu's picture

"i don't blame him for being frustrated."

How can he be frustrated? All he does is fuck everyone.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:39 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I think he just wants to gtfo here already. He looks like a zombie.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:56 | Link to Comment McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

He looks like a zombie because this country is the walking dead.

Snark aside, he does look pretty shitty, especially when you consider he's a lot younger than Greenspan. Greenspan never looked this bad, but then I suppose Greenspan wasn't the guy tapped to fly the plane into the ground. That'll wear on a person.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:48 | Link to Comment ShortTheUS
ShortTheUS's picture

This is nothing. They're saying sequestration is going to cost us another 2345% on GDP...

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:05 | Link to Comment GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



One day left to live.....make the best of it.


Maybe less than a day if your name is Bob Woodward.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:51 | Link to Comment Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

Woo-hoo! A +.01% rise in GDP in Q4 for the Greatest Country in the WorldTM!

Win-ning! I am going to buy some Apple stock tout de suite!

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:51 | Link to Comment ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

Oh so it is positive...There goes any chance of calling it a recession after this quarter.  Now we would have to wait until the end of the 2nd quarter.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:52 | Link to Comment caimen garou
caimen garou's picture

oh boy, look at the growth, hope my garden takes off this spring like this country's gdp! well again, not!


Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:54 | Link to Comment JasperNewtonDaniel
JasperNewtonDaniel's picture

They had to get Q4 2012 into the black so when Q1 2013 numbers implode,  Obama won't have an official recession on his hands.  The Fed will be the first, last and only creditor to the US government before this insanity ends.  We need double digit growth rates to sustain the debt much less reduce it.  Bernanke intends on buying every treasury and letting it roll off.            

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:55 | Link to Comment ArmyofOne
ArmyofOne's picture

Numbers killed it.  Now another short squeeze to new highs. 

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:44 | Link to Comment SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

Wilson?  Is that you?

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:58 | Link to Comment orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

What's 1 + 1 ?


"What would you like it to be?", says the accountant.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:59 | Link to Comment JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Not to worry.  We can hedonically adjust the GDP the way we want.  

Or just adjust inflation down a bit and then the GDP is up a bit.

The good news must continue.  Or Bernanke and the politicians will look bad. 

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:59 | Link to Comment lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Wait until the REAL readjustment happens... GDP is gonna drop at least 5% per quarter for at least 3 quarters.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:59 | Link to Comment firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Looking at the numbers behind the number, personal consumption contracted QoQ and YoY = all is well.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 09:59 | Link to Comment thismarketisrigged
thismarketisrigged's picture

rick santelli is the fucking man. on cnbc employee who wiil actually rip this market into shreds of how big of a fucking joke it is on tv.


as they released the numbers, he says sarcastically'' wow, here in chicago futures are going wild since these numbers, from unchanged to - 4 on the dow, i guess they are following the feds gameplan''


he is the only reason i still watch cnbc, he says the truth. and i know some ppl on here have said its an act, this is not a reality tv show, there is no editing, this is how he really feels and rightfully so.


how he still works on cnbc though with his reality visions, i still do not know.


so let me get this straight.


yesterday these assholes claim the market was up due to signs of strong economy, such as housing, etc. However, today with bad gdp number, the number that shows how we are growing, and that is under expectations, market is unchanged to up a few pts?



Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:05 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

CNBC is just a propoganda machine. The thing is, if they did not have a Santelli type out there it would be so blatantly obvious, even the dumbest sheep may start scratching their heads. So whether he believes what he says or not is not pertinent. It's important to have him on there to create a semblance of balance, and the illusion that the market is not completely rigged.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:42 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Shit, santelli works for a fucking bank moron.  Planned opposition/propaganda. He will be just fine regardless of whether or not you are starving on the street.  Tell us, what item/product/service of real value does this little paper-pushing fucker actually produce?  Tick tock motherfuckers.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:04 | Link to Comment 1eyedman
1eyedman's picture

he's their little token tag along they keep around for entertainment, but doesnt get to sit around the big desks and pontificate on how big a statue they should build for brnkke.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:13 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Exactly.  Cracks me up, all these little people complaining about the fascists in power and doing everything they can to be just like them.  Stupid fucking sheep.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:06 | Link to Comment kerneltrade
kerneltrade's picture

     The above comments abovr Rick S are true.  He is live on tv and not ranting from a peice of written scripts.  More over  I  also heard about him from my trading friends that he is the honest guy out there who want to talk truth.  

        Commonsense will always prevail.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:34 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

right, and the fact he works for a bank brokerage is irrelevant.  That's a good sheep... much for common fucking sense.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:04 | Link to Comment Kickaha
Kickaha's picture

I'm sure I'm not the first person to ponder on this, but of what relevance is the GDP number in an economy that is transitioning into one which produces an ever shrinking amount of product?  Has anyone competent actually tried to define and compile a statistic that actually measures only the domestic production of goods and services which represent real value to the society?

What interesting questions would have to be answered as part of that process!

How much do the health, legal, government, financial, MIC and advertising sectors actually add to national wealth?  For that matter, to what degree does trading securities actually add to national wealth?

My guess would be that once you adjusted for the irrelevance of much of what passes for "production", you would have a statistic, which, over time, and adjusted for inflation, results in a chart which shows for the USA an alarming steady and accelerating downward slope since about 1965.

Throw the GDP number in the same garbage can as the unemployment rate number.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:38 | Link to Comment fuu
fuu's picture

Without government spending where is GDP?

EBT, SNAP, SS, Medicare, disability, UE, salaries, farm subsidies, oil subisidies, ethenol subsidies, highway funds, $85 billion/mo QE-Twist, and on and on and on and on.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 19:22 | Link to Comment Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"Has anyone competent actually tried to define and compile a statistic that actually measures only the domestic production of goods and services which represent real value to the society?"

It would be an incredibly complex task and no one in the establishment would like the results, so no.

Economists can define their way out of that conundrum by assuming that if a good or service is produced the producer was acting rationally and if it's sold the buyer was acting rationally and therefore we have no right to question the value of the good or service or we'd be questioning the rationality of economic actors which is axiomatic to all economics. Or some other bullshit.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:05 | Link to Comment DOT
DOT's picture


Let the bulls loose !

Are the Solars catching a bid yet ?

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:06 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

That which cannot be sustained, won't be, period.  Time for all these paper-pushing sociopaths to lose their fucking head.  There is no real value in their labor anyway.  Tick-tock, bitchez

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:08 | Link to Comment ekm
ekm's picture

Bullshit. Economy is in full CONTRACTION, 2-4%.


There's no freaking way economy would not contract, with crude oil at above $70 WTI for 2 years already.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:32 | Link to Comment SmallerGovNow2
SmallerGovNow2's picture

check distallate demand at bottom of page here...

down over last year (red line versus blue line).  full contraction indeed, especially considering REAL inflation....

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:26 | Link to Comment Hohum
Hohum's picture


Maybe so.  But if WTI falls below $70, oil production plummets.  Quite the problem, isn't it?

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:35 | Link to Comment ekm
ekm's picture

Incorrect. Totally incorrect.

Oil production will increase because the demand will be much higher. Simple sypply/demand.


A lot of brainwashing is going on around. Oil companies are lying about their costs.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 15:39 | Link to Comment Hohum
Hohum's picture

Again, maybe.  Bernstein Research says $92 per barrel to get new oil out of the ground; someone else may say $32.  How do you know what the costs are?

Sure demand will increase.  But increased demand leads to increased price (holding supply constant).  You seem to think production can ramp up below $70; I beg to differ.  And so does Bernstein Research.  In any case, it's the question of the moment.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:22 | Link to Comment venturen
venturen's picture

Market up 2% on great news...postive growth of .1% in 4th Q and well Wall Street got 3x$85 Billion from the fed over the last 3 months...which they leveraged up! Bonuses all around

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:34 | Link to Comment thismarketisrigged
thismarketisrigged's picture

i really want to fucking punch jim cramer in the face. how the fuck does this guy continue to go on tv and spew this bullshit. saying how this market is resiliant, bernanke is great, not even talking about the most important number by far, which was only the 0.1 percent gdp growth, which was below expectations and is total dogshit.


if the gdp revisions was like 2.5 percent growth, we would be up like 500 on the dow. i really want to punch this jackass.


also, i thought the algos are programmed to read data as it comes out and react to it, so how the fuck do they not sell the fuck off on this terrible data?

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:47 | Link to Comment RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

It's a revision, any relevance to the algos has come and gone..

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:36 | Link to Comment NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

The biggest blip on the chart is the phony Q3 number, placed there for the elections. The correct chart would be a line straight down from Q4 2011 to zero, and with the new taxes and even higher gas prices in 2013 the line will keep heading down.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:44 | Link to Comment adr
adr's picture

How do imports add to GDP? I guess when you are just making up bullshit it really doesn't matter.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:08 | Link to Comment FecundaGoat
FecundaGoat's picture

I Totally agree!!  Doesn't it look like Imports and Exports are backwards on the chart??


Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:46 | Link to Comment Debtless
Debtless's picture

There's a very good reason medical treatment costs half a million for a new hip, military toys cost half a zillion and the govt pays $200 for toilet seats. GDP has to come from somewhere since there hasn't been any real growth around here for decades.

Inflate nominally to parabolic bitches. It is the American way.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:00 | Link to Comment 1eyedman
1eyedman's picture

See?  There is no recession, were growing moderately, err, modestly.   As a matter of fact, iproducts keep falling in price so the inflation deflator we use should be even lower, revealing a truer, even healthier economy.  Whats that?  The people on the outside trying to participate in the labor 'market'?  ignore them, they are not in the labor pool, theydont really want to work so we dont count them, they are mostly retirees who have benefited from this recovery.      yes, I stand by the comment that to get higher interest rates, due to a growing economy we must keep rates low.     And following the same 'logic'  higher home prices are good for the economy, if you are already a homeowner/investor, not so much if you are young and trying to save up for a downpayment and homes were only briefly 'affordable' by using income standards.   But that is so old-fashioned, saving.   Downpayments, owning or having equity, saving are actually destructive to my power base.  did i say that outloud?  I meant the economy; it is better to spend than to save, to owe than to own, because if you only owe a little, you might have a problem, but if you owe a lot you can get a bailout.   --Dr Bennie B  (whose underlying basis for all economic theory begins with the assumption that investors are rational)

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:01 | Link to Comment DeadFinks
DeadFinks's picture

They have to avoid two consecutive negative quarterly GDP prints to better hide the current state of the economy from the masses.  Does this adjustment indicate their expectations for a negative Q1 initial print?

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:10 | Link to Comment Auntie Lo
Auntie Lo's picture

Being a geologist rather than a financial/economic wonk...

Does fixed investment include lead, brass, and other metals? Or does that just mean more treasury bonds? If the latter, the government will save us every time until it doesn't.

Or maybe lead and brass are in personal consumption expenditures?

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 12:03 | Link to Comment H E D G E H O G
H E D G E H O G's picture

what's all this sequestrian bullshit about? are we all going to have to start riding horses? or eating them? do i need to buy a saddle? i dunno, just askin. my "meds" have been a little stronger than usual lately.

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