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Technical Note
Gross Domestic Product
Fourth Quarter of 2012 (Second Estimate)
February 28, 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 fourth 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 0.1 percent (annual rate) in the fourth quarter, an upward revision
of 0.2 percentage point from the advance estimate. The upward 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 an upward revision to exports, a
downward revision to imports, and an upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment
that were partly offset by a downward revision to private inventory investment.

*	The revisions to exports and imports were mainly based on newly available Census
        goods data for December and revised data for November.
*	The upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment was more than accounted for
        by an upward revision to structures that was based on newly available Census
        construction spending for December and revised data for October and November.
*	The downward revision to private inventory investment reflected downward revisions
        to wholesale trade inventories and to mining, utilities, and construction inventories
        that were partly offset by an upward revision to retail trade inventories. The revised
        estimates reflected newly available Census Bureau manufacturing and trade
        inventory data for December, revised data for November, and preliminary fourth-
        quarter Census quarterly financial report data for mining industries.

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.5 percent in the fourth
quarter, an upward revision of 0.2 percentage point. This revision was mostly due to
prices for personal consumption expenditures and reflected revised Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS) seasonally adjusted consumer price indexes.

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

In addition to presenting revised estimates for the fourth quarter, today's release also
presents revised estimates of third-quarter wages and salaries, personal taxes, and
contributions for government social insurance. Wage and salary disbursements are now
estimated to have increased $39.3 billion in the third quarter of 2012, an upward revision
of $6.8 billion. These estimates reflect newly available wage and salary tabulations for
the third 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.

Real disposable personal income is now estimated to have increased 0.7 percent
(annual rate) in the third quarter and 6.2 percent in the fourth. (By comparison, the
estimates that were available last month showed increases of 0.5 percent in the third
quarter and 6.8 percent in the fourth.)

The revision to third-quarter wages and salaries also resulted in a revision to GDI. Real
GDI is now estimated to have increased 1.6 percent in the third quarter, an upward
revision of 0.2 percentage point.


Brent R. Moulton
Associate Director for National Economic Accounts
Bureau of Economic Analysis
(202) 606-9606