With the Labor Department reporting that an unprecedented 3.3 million initial jobless claim were filed in the past week as the economy collapsed due to the Wu Flu shutdown, the last thing anyone will care about is what happened in the US economy in the end of 2019, but just for the sake of continuity, we will note that the BEA reported that in its final estimate of Q4 GDP, it saw Q4 GDP rise 2.1%, just as expected, and unchanged from the second revision.
Compared to the second estimate, the unrevised GDP growth rate primarily reflected an upward revision to consumer spending that was largely offset by downward revisions to federal government spending and business investment. Here is how the contributions to the bottom line changed from the last estimate:
- Personal Consumption: 1.17% in 2nd revision vs 1.24% in final
- Fixed Investment: -0.09% in 2nd revision vs -0.09% in final
- Change in Private Inventories: -0.98% in 2nd revision vs -0.98% in final
- Exports: 0.24% in 2nd revision vs 0.24% in final
- Imports: 1.29% in 2nd revision vs 1.27% in final
- Government consumption: 0.46% in 2nd revision vs 0.44% in final
What is most surprising about these data is how little changed between the 2nd estimate and the final one, almost as if the BEA took a sick break and instead of actually updating the data just carried over whatever it had already published. Luckily, with the US sinking into a depression as it heads into a quarter where GDP may crash as much as -50% according to Fed president James Bullard, none of this matters.