UK economy vs. US economy

29th March 2011

Real gross domestic product – the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States – increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.

So economic growth was revised upwards and furthermore it had accelerated when compared with the previous quarter. So far so good. However a little care is needed because the US annualises its numbers which means that the 0.3% upwards revision is in fact only a quarter of that or 0.075% in reality. This is well within the margin for error.

The US Housing Market

Earlier last week we received this.

Sales of new single-family houses in February 2011 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 250,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 16 9 percent 16.9 (±19.1%)* below the revised January rate of 301,000 and is 28.0 percent (±14.8%) below the February 2010 estimate of 347,000

These numbers were quite poor as not only were they worse than expected they were a new record low. So the US housing market continues to look very troubled.

Personal Income and Outlays (Consumption)

Yesterday we received further information in this area.

Personal income increased $38.1 billion, or 0.3 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $36.0 billion, or 0.3 percent, in February, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $69.1 billion, or 0.7 percent………….Real PCE increased 0.3 percent, in contrast to a decrease of less than 0.1 percent.

We learnt several things here…

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