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US Monthly Real GDP Fell in February, First Decline in 40 Months



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e-forecasting.com’s February monthly real GDP, USmonthlyGDP™, dropped in February by an annualized month-to-month growth rate of 0.3% to $18,846 billion of chained 2012 dollars expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, following an increase of 1.1% in January.

A popular “growth” number for economic performance – used by news media and well understood by the public – refers to the annualized quarterly growth rate in real GDP computed from the official quarterly data of the national accounts. For monthly frequency, the annualized rolling three-month growth rate in U.S. monthly real GDP, a monthly equivalent to quarterly-data growth rate, posted a reading of (+2.2%) in the three months to February 2019 from the previous period, three months to November 2018.

February’s reading of the rolling three-month growth rate in monthly real GDP “was 1.1 percent points below the country’s potential 88-year average growth rate of 3.3%.” said Evangelos Otto Simos, editor of this Digest and professor at the University of New Hampshire.

In sum, the latest evidence from U.S. monthly real GDP reveal that…”US economic growth in the first quarter of 2019 was in a slowdown growth path of its business cycle,” Simos added.

February monthly GDP at “today’s prices,” which is officially called the market value of United States’ output of goods and services expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates in current market prices, posted a reading of $20,908 billion. Globally thinking, the size of the American market for doing business is about $20.9 trillion today.

Lastly, the price index for monthly GDP, called the monthly GDP price deflator – seasonally adjusted and set to equal 100 in 2012 – decreased by an annual rate of 1.1% in February from the previous month to a level of 110.9. In other words, using the price index of monthly GDP, “…U.S. GDP-based monthly inflation (deflation if negative) run in February at a month-to-month annualized rate of (-1.1%),” Simos explained.

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