Q4 GDP Revised Slightly Upwards

A blog about business and economics.
Feb. 28 2013 9:09 AM

Fourth Quarter GDP Revised Slightly Upwards  

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its revised estimate of 4th quarter GDP growth today, and now says that in inflation-adjusted terms the economy expanded 0.1 percent rather than contracting 0.1 percent as they originally said. This is a textbook case of some of the problems in economic data reporting. Obviously 0.2 percentage points is not a big difference, but coming in below zero generated a lot of alarmist coverage when the initial estimate came out even though everyone knows that these figures tend to be revised. In fact if anything this revision is unusually small. But the revised numbers—though more accurate—will get less attention than the initial read.

My view of the initial read was that the underlying situation was better than it looked and that continued to be the case for the revised figures.


Delving too deep into the details can get a bit misleading, but the key thing here is we had a staggering 22 percent decline in military purchases which—even accounting for sequestration—simply doesn't reflect any actual medium-term trend in the military budget. Less volatile indicators like personal consumption expenditures and net exports were perfectly consistent with the kind of "steady growth that's not fast enough to rapidly close the output gap" that we've seen for many quarters now.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.