Frequently Asked Questions

Guidelines for Citing BEA Information | ID: 81 | Created: Dec-06-2005
Answer

How do I use quarter-to-quarter (or month-to-month) percent changes?

Use quarter-to-quarter (or month-to-month) percent changes to show short-term movements in output, spending, or prices. For example:

  • GDP increased 3.6 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2003 after increasing 7.2 percent in the third quarter. (These percent changes may be found in table 1 of the GDP news release and in table 1.1.1 of the NIPA tables.)
  • There has been a clear upturn in exports of goods and services. After decreasing 3.1 percent an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2002, 2.9 percent in the first quarter of 2003, and 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2003, exports increased 11.5 percent in the third quarter and 19.1 percent in the fourth quarter. (These percent changes may be found in table 1 of the GDP news release and in table 1.1.1 of the NIPA tables.)
  • Personal income increased 0.4 percent in December of 2003 after increasing 0.7 percent in November. (These percent changes may be found in table 5 of the personal income and outlays news release and may be computed using estimates in table 2.6 of the NIPA tables.)
  • PCE prices increased 1.3 percent at annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2003 after increasing 2.0 percent in the third quarter. (These percent changes may be found in table 4 of the GDP news release and in table 1.1.7 of the NIPA tables.)

National Income and Product Accounts Tables (NIPA)

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