Economic Growth Slows in Fourth Quarter, Expands By Less Than 1 Percentage Point

GDP expands at rate of 0.7 percent, down from 2 percent in third quarter

January 29, 2016

The U.S economy slowed in the fourth quarter of 2015 as real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at an annual rate of 0.7 percent, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Real GDP is adjusted for inflation and represents "the value of the production of goods and services in the economy," according to the bureau. Wall Street Journal economists forecasted a higher rate of growth, predicting GDP would grow at a rate of 0.8 percent.

The fourth quarter real GDP of 0.7 percent, which includes performance from October, November, and December of 2015, was lower than the third quarter real GDP estimate of 2 percent, which included months July, August and September. It was also lower than the second quarter estimate of 3.9 percent.

The economy grew at a rate of 2.4 percent for the entire year of 2015, which was the same rate that it grew in 2014.

"The U.S. economy sputtered in the final months of 2015, a sign of flagging momentum amid global weakness and financial market turmoil," explains WSJ, calling the GDP growth ‘anemic’. "Rapidly falling oil prices and a strong dollar have had a mixed impact on businesses and consumers. And a slowdown in China, persistent weakness in Europe and volatile financial markets have been a drag."

BEA will release its second GDP estimate for the fourth quarter of 2015 on Feb. 26.

Published under: Economy