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Technical Note
Gross Domestic Product
First Quarter of 2013 (Second Estimate)
May 30, 2013
This technical note provides background information about the source data and estimating
methods used to produce the estimates presented in the GDP news release. The complete
set of estimates for the first quarter is available on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov; a brief
summary of "highlights" is also posted on the Web site. In a few weeks, the estimates will be
published in BEA's monthly journal, the Survey of Current Business, along with a more
detailed analysis of the estimates ("GDP and the Economy").


Sources of Revision to Real GDP

Real GDP increased 2.4 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter, a downward revision of 0.1
percentage point from the advance estimate. The downward revision to the percent change in
real GDP is smaller than the average revision from the advance to second estimate of 0.5
percentage point. The revision reflected downward revisions to private inventory investment,
to exports, and to state and local government spending that were partly offset by a
downward revision to imports and an upward revision to consumer spending.

*	The downward revision to private inventory investment primarily reflected downward
        revisions to retail trade inventories and to “other” industry inventories. The revised
        estimates reflected newly available Census Bureau nondurable manufacturing and trade
        inventory data for March, revised data for February, and preliminary first-quarter Census
        quarterly financial report data for mining industries and for information industries.
        Benchmarked Census manufacturing inventories data were also incorporated on a best-
        change basis. (BEA applies the “best change” to the level of inventories.)
*	The revisions to exports and imports were mainly based on newly available Census
        goods data for March and revised data for February.
*	The downward revision to state and local government investment was more than
        accounted for by a downward revision to structures that was based on newly available
        Census construction spending for March and revised data for January and February.
*	The upward revision to consumer spending reflected an upward revision to spending on
        motor vehicle fuels that was based on newly available February gasoline supply data
        from the Energy Information Administration.


The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.2 percent in the first quarter, an
upward revision of 0.1 percentage point. The revision was mostly accounted for by an
upward revision to PCE prices for financial services and reflected the incorporation of newly
available commercial bank call report data.

Gross Domestic Income and Corporate Profits

Real gross domestic income (GDI), which measures the output of the economy as the costs
incurred and the incomes earned in the production of GDP, increased 2.5 percent in the first
quarter.  Real GDI increased 5.5 percent, and real GDP increased 0.4 percent, in the
previous quarter.  For a given quarter, the estimates of GDP and GDI may differ for a variety
of reasons, mainly on their reliance on different and independent source data.
However, over longer time spans, the estimates of GDP and GDI tend to follow similar
patterns of change. For the year 2012, real GDP and real GDI both increased 2.2 percent.

Profits from current production decreased $43.8 billion, or 2.2 percent (quarterly rate), in the
first quarter.  Domestic profits of financial corporations decreased $2.0 billion, domestic
profits of nonfinancial corporations decreased $8.8 billion, and rest-of-the-world profits
decreased $33.0 billion.

Revisions to Wages and Salaries, Disposable Personal Income, and GDI

In addition to presenting revised estimates for the first quarter, today's release also presents
revised estimates of fourth-quarter wages and salaries, personal taxes, and contributions for
government social insurance. Wage and salary disbursements are now estimated to have
increased $171.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, an upward revision of $100.9 billion.
These estimates reflect newly available wage and salary tabulations for the fourth quarter
from the BLS quarterly census of employment and wages (QCEW). These data are more
comprehensive than the monthly employment and earnings data that were used for the earlier
estimates—the QCEW data include irregular pay, such as bonuses and gains from the
exercise of stock options, which were substantial for the fourth-quarter as some companies
accelerated bonus payments and other types of irregular pay in anticipation of tax law
changes.

Real disposable personal income is now estimated to have increased 8.9 percent (annual
rate) in the fourth quarter and to have decreased 8.4 percent in the first. (By comparison,
the estimates that were available last month showed an increase of 6.2 percent in the
fourth quarter and a decrease of 5.3 percent in the first.)

The revision to fourth-quarter wages and salaries also resulted in a revision to GDI. Real
GDI is now estimated to have increased 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter, an upward revision
of 2.9 percentage points.

Comprehensive NIPA Revision Scheduled for July 31

On July 31, 2013, BEA will present the results of its comprehensive revision of the national
income and product accounts (NIPAs).  A series of articles in the Survey of Current
Business discusses the revision in detail; these articles and other information about the
revision are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov/GDP-revisions.

As part of this comprehensive revision, BEA will:

*	Incorporate the results of the 2007 Benchmark Input-Output Accounts;
*	Recognize expenditures on research and development and on entertainment, literary, and
        artistic originals as fixed investment;
*	Measure the transactions of defined benefit pension plans on an accrual accounting basis
        and recognize the cost of unfunded liabilities;
*	Update the reference year for chain-type quantity and price indexes and chained-dollar
        estimates to 2009 from 2005.


Nicole M. Mayerhauser
Chief, National Income and Wealth Division
Bureau of Economic Analysis
(202) 606-9715