Q1 GDP Third Estimate: Real GDP at 1.4%, Above Forecast

The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster than expected pace to start off the year. Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.4% in Q1 2024, according to the third estimate. The latest estimate is just above the forecasted 1.3% growth but is a slowdown from the Q4 2023 GDP final estimate of 3.4%.

Here is the opening text from the Bureau of Economic Analysis news release:

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2024, according to the "third" estimate. In the fourth quarter of 2023, real GDP increased 3.4 percent. The increase in the first quarter primarily reflected increases in consumer spending, housing investment, business investment, and state and local government that were partly offset by a decrease in inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Real gross domestic product (GDP) measures how fast or slowly the economy is growing and measures the inflation-adjusted value of all goods and services produced by the economy. It is considered the broadest measure of economic activity and the primary indicator of an economy's health. The Bureaus of Economic Analysis (BEA) releases real GDP data on a monthly basis. There are 3 versions released a month apart, advance, second, and final, each incorporating data that was previously unavailable. Economists can use GDP to determine whether an economy is growing or experiencing a recession.