US GDP Current Statistics (2013 to Present)

What Made the U.S. Economy Grow 1.9% in Q3 2019

GDP statistics
••• Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The current U.S. GDP growth rate is 2.1%. That means the United States economy grew at a rate of 2.1% in the third quarter of 2019. The third quarter is July through September.

The U.S. economy is within the ideal growth rate of between 2% and 3%. This rate is fast enough to provide enough jobs, but not so fast it will create inflation or an asset bubble. Growth at this sustainable rate prevents a boom and bust cycle. It's really a Goldilocks economy.

The current U.S. gross domestic product annual rate is $21,542.5 trillion as of the third quarter. In other words, if all the companies and people in the United States kept producing at that rate for a year, they'd make $21,542.5 trillion in goods and services.

For a wider comparison, we tracked the growth rate from 2013 to 2018. The grey bar shows the ideal growth rate between 2% and 3%.

Revision Schedule Estimates

The Bureau of Economic Analysis releases the GDP report at the end of each month. Each quarterly report has the following three releases.

  1. Advance Estimate: Released one month after the quarter ends. It's often wildly different from the Third Estimate, simply because all of the trade and business inventory data is not in yet.
  2. Second Estimate: Comes out two months after the quarter. It's more realistic.
  3. Third Estimate: Released three months after the quarter. Usually only tweaks the Second Estimate. 

The BEA makes in-depth revisions annually. Here is the schedule since 2013:

  • July 31, 2013: All estimates since 1929 based on improved estimates of intellectual property values and pensions.
  • July 30, 2014: All estimates since Q1 2011, and some estimates since 1999.
  • July 30, 2015: All estimates since Q1 2012, and some estimates since 1976.
  • July 29, 2016: All estimates since Q1 2013.
  • July 29, 2017: All estimates since Q1 2014.
  • July 29, 2018: All estimates since 1929 based on improved estimates.
  • July 29, 2019. All estimates since Q1 2014.
  • The next revision will be July 29, 2020. It will cover all estimates since 2016.

For each quarter below, you'll see the most recent estimates first. That's followed by prior estimates, which are in parentheses with the year the BEA revised them. Admittedly, this presentation is a little confusing, but it's important to see how the data continually changes. A record of these revisions isn't readily available anywhere else.


Q1: 3.1%

  • Advance: The largest component of GDP is consumer spending. It contributes 70% to the economy, and it rose 1.2%. That's typical for the first quarter because it's right after the holiday shopping season. Spending on durable goods fell by 5.3%. That's for long-lasting things like automobiles, furniture, and large appliances. Spending on non-durable goods rose by 1.7%. Spending on services rose by 2.0%. Business investment rose 5.1%. Investment in equipment increased 0.2%, while commercial construction fell 0.8%. Most of that is apartment buildings. Residential construction dropped 2.8%, making many wonder if the real estate market will crash. Exports rose by 3.7%. Most of U.S. exports are oil and commercial aircraft.  Imports fell 3.7% which adds to GDP. Trade estimates are based on just two months of data. All other estimates are based on three months of data. As the dollar's value weakens, it makes imports more expensive. Federal government spending was flat even though military spending rose 4.1%. State and local spending rose by 3.9%.
  • Second: The BEA revised commercial real estate construction and business investment down, and revise personal consumption, exports, and imports up. The revisions were based on new data.
  • Third: The BEA saw no need to change its estimate from 3.1%.

Q2: 2.1%

  • Advance: Consumer spending rose 4.3%. Spending on durable goods rose 12.9%, while spending on non-durable goods rose 6%. Spending on services increased by 2.5%. Business investment fell 5.5%. Investment in equipment increased by 0.7%, while commercial construction fell 10.6%.  Exports fell by 5.2%. Imports only rose by 0.1%, subtracting from GDP. The trade war is decreasing all aspects of international trade. Federal government spending rose 7.9%, boosted by a 2.8% increase in military spending. State and local spending rose by 3.2%.

Q3: 2.1%

  • Advance: Consumer spending rose 3.2%. Spending on durable goods rose 8.1%, while spending on non-durable goods rose 3.9%. Spending on services increased a paltry 2.2%. Business investment fell 1% as companies worried about the impact of the trade war. Investment in equipment fell by 3.8%. Commercial construction fell by 9.9%.  Exports rose by just 1%. Imports only rose by 1.8%, subtracting from GDP. Federal government spending rose 3.3%, boosted by a 2.2% increase in military spending. State and local spending rose by 0.7%
  • Third: The BEA revised the estimate up from 1.9% to 2.1%.

2018: 2.9% (Unchanged from 2018 revision)

Q1: 2.5% (was 2.2% in original estimate.)

  • Advance: Consumer spending rose 1.1%. Durable goods fell 3.3%. Spending on non-durable goods rose 0.1%. Spending on services rose 2.1%. Business investment rose 7.3%. Investment in equipment increased 4.7%, while commercial construction rose a robust 12.3%.  Exports rose 4.8%. Imports only increased 2.6%, subtracting from GDP. As the dollar's value weakens, it makes imports more expensive. Federal government spending rose 1.7%, boosted by a 1.8% increase in military spending. State and local spending rose 0.8%.
  • Second: The BEA revised its estimate down to 2.0%. It based the revision on new data on personal consumption expenditures and inventory investment.
  • Final: The BEA revised its estimate up to 2.2%.

Q2: 3.5% (was 4.2% in original estimate)

  • Advance: Consumer spending rose 4%. Business investment fell 0.5%. A 13.3% increase in commercial construction was offset by a 1.1% drop in home building. Exports rose 13.3%. Analysts report that many businesses shipped goods early to avoid tariffs. As a result, they expect a drop in exports in the third quarter.rose 4.8%. Government spending rose a moderate 2.1%.
  • Second: The BEA revised its estimate up to 4.2%. Commercial real estate construction was a little higher than originally estimated.
  • Final: The BEA confirmed its estimate of 4.2%.

Q3: 2.9% (was 3.4% in original estimate)

  • Advance: Growth was driven by consumer spending, which rose 4%. Business spending was also robust, rising 12%. It was driven by a 13.3% increase in intellectual property products, like patents. On the other hand, commercial construction decreased 7.9%, and home building dropped 4%. Exports fell 3.5%, but imports rose 9.1%. It will probably worsen the U.S. trade deficit. Government spending rose 3.3%.
  • Second: The BEA kept its estimate at 3.5%.
  • Final: The BEA revised the estimate down slightly to 3.4% based on updated data.

Q4: 1.1% (was 2.2% in original estimate)

  • Advance: Auto sales boosted durable goods, which rose 5.9%. Businesses increased spending on software and research by 13.1%. The federal government increased deficit spending primarily on defense. It rose 6.9%.
  • Second: The BEA revised its estimate down to 2.6%.
  • Final: Robust business and government spending made up for moderate consumer spending. Total growth was 2.2%.

2017 2.4% (2.2% in 2018 revision, 2.3% in 2017 estimate)

Q1: 2.3% (was 1.8% in 2018 revision, 1.2% in 2017 revision, 1.4% in 2017 original estimate.)

  • Advance: The economy grew 0.7%. Consumer spending increased 0.3%. Durable goods fell 2.5%. Non-durable goods rose 1.5%. Services rose 0.4%. Business investment rose 4.3%, thanks to a 22.1% increase in commercial construction. Exports rose 5.8%.  Imports rose 4.1%. Government spending fell 1.7%, thanks to a 4.0% drop in military spending. State and local spending also fell 1.6%. 
  • Second: The BEA revised its estimate upwards to 1.2%. New data revealed increases in two areas. First, personal consumption was better than original estimates. So was construction of commercial real estate. State and government spending was down, but not as much as in the advance estimate.
  • Final: The BEA revised its estimate up again to 1.4%. The uptick was from new data on personal consumption. 

Q2: 2.2% (was 3.0% in 2018 estimate, 3.1% in 2017 estimate)

  • Advance: The economy grew 2.6%. Consumer spending rose 2.8%. Spending on durable goods rose 6.3%. Spending on non-durable goods rose 3.8%, while services rose 1.9%. Business investment rose 2.0%. That was due to a 5.2% increase in commercial construction.  Exports rose 4.2%.  Imports rose 2.1%. Government spending rose 0.7%, thanks to a 5.2% increase in military spending. State and local spending fell 0.2%.
  • Second: The BEA revised its estimate up to 3.0%. Increases in consumer spending and business investment were higher than originally estimated. That's based on new data that came in over the month. 
  • Final: The BEA revised its estimate up to 3.1%. The slight uptick was based on better-than-expected increases in consumer spending as the final data came in.

Q3: 3.2% (was 2.8% in 2018 estimate, was 3.2% in 2017 estimate)

  • Advance: The economy grew 3.0%. Consumer spending rose 2.4%. Spending on durable goods increased an astonishing 8.3%. Some of that was due to the replacement of the 1 million vehicles destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. Spending on non-durable goods rose 2.1%, while services rose 1.5%. Business investment rose 6.0%. Investment in equipment offset a 5.2% decline in commercial construction. Exports rose 2.3%. Imports fell 0.8%, adding to GDP.  Government spending fell 0.1%, despite a 2.3% increase in military spending. State and local spending fell 0.9%. 
  • Second: The growth estimate was 3.3%. Updated data revealed that three areas were higher than the advance estimate. These areas were nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and private inventory investment.
  • Final: Personal consumption expenditures were lower than anticipated, making growth 3.2%.

Q4: 3.5% (was 2.3% in 2018 estimate, 2.9% in 2017 estimate)

  • Advance: Consumer spending rose 3.8%. Spending on durable goods increased an astonishing 14.2%. Spending on non-durable goods rose 5.2%, while services rose 1.8%. Business investment rose 3.6%. Investment in equipment was 11.4%, while commercial construction was 1.4%. Exports rose 6.9%. Imports rose 13.9%. Federal government spending rose 3.5%, boosted by a 6.0% increase in military spending. State and local spending rose 2.6%.
  • Second: The growth estimate was 2.5%. Updated data revealed that two areas were higher than the advance estimate. These areas were personal consumption spending and private inventory investment.
  • Final: Personal consumption and private inventory were even higher than anticipated. As a result, growth was 2.9%.

2016: 1.6% (Unchanged from 2018 revision, 1.5% in 2017 revision, 1.6% in 2016 estimate)

Q1: 2.0% (was 1.5% in 2018 estimate, 0.6% in 2017 revision, 0.8% in 2016 revision, 1.1% in 2016 original estimate)

  • Advance: The economy grew 0.5%. Consumer spending rose 1.9%, thanks to a 2.7% increase in purchases for services. It was dragged down by a 1.6% decrease in spending on durable goods. Business investment fell 3.5%, thanks to an 8.6% drop in equipment purchases. Housing construction rose 14.8%, but commercial construction fell 10.7%. The strong dollar hurt business exports. They declined 2.6%.  Imports, which subtract from GDP, rose 0.2%. Government spending rose 1.2%, thanks to a 2.9% increase in municipal outlays. Federal spending dropped 1.6%, due to a 3.6% decline in military spending. 
  • Second: The BEA revised the estimate up to 0.8%. 
  • Third: After analysis of all incoming data, the BEA revised its estimate up to 1.1%. Exports rose more than initially expected. 

Q2: 1.9% (was 2.3% in 2018 revision, 2.2% in 2017 revision, 1.4% in 2016 estimate)

  • Advance: The economy grew 1.2%. Consumer spending rose a healthy 4.2%. That was driven by a 3.0% increase in purchases for services. Consumers also spent 8.4% more on durable goods and 6.0% more on non-durable goods, such as clothing and groceries. Business investment fell 9.7%, due to a 3.5% drop in equipment purchases. Housing construction fell 6.1%, and commercial construction fell 7.9%. Exports rose 1.4%, while imports 0.4%. Government spending fell 0.2%, thanks to a 1.3% drop in municipal outlays. Federal spending dropped 0.2%, due to a 3.0% decline in military spending.
  • Second: The BEA revised the estimate down to 1.1%. 
  • Third: The BEA revised the estimate up to 1.4%. Business spending on plants and equipment was higher than the original estimate.

Q3: 2.2% (was 1.9% in 2018 revision, 2.8% in 2017 revision, 3.5% in 2016 estimate)

  • Advance: The economy grew 2.9%. Consumer spending increased 2.1%. It was driven by a 9.5% rise in spending on durable goods. Purchases of services rose 2.1%, while non-durable goods spending fell 1.4%. Business investment rose 3.1%, due to a 5.4% rise in commercial construction. Exports rose 10%.  Imports rose 2.3%. Government spending only rose 0.5%, thanks to a 0.7% drop in state and local spending. That was offset by a 2.5% increase in federal spending, including a 2.1% rise in military spending.
  • Second: The BEA substantially revised its estimate to a 3.2% growth rate. That's because better data became available. It showed that consumer spending, exports, and government spending were better than expected.
  • Third: The BEA revised its estimate up to 3.5% because spending was a little higher than previously estimated.

Q4: 2.0% (was 1.8% in 2018 revision, unchanged from 2017 revision, 2.1% in 2016 estimate)

  • Advance: The economy grew 1.9%. Consumer spending increased 2.5%. That makes up almost 70% of the economy. It was driven by a 10.9% rise in spending on durable goods. Shoppers took advantage of low interest rates to fund those purchases. They are feeling more confident about their economic future. Purchases of services rose 1.3%, while non-durable goods spending rose 2.3%. Business investment rose 10.7%, despite a 5% drop in commercial construction. Exports fell 4.3% due to a strong dollar. Imports rose 8.3%. Government spending fell 1.2%, thanks to a 3.6% drop in military spending. That was offset by a 2.3% increase state and local spending. 
  • Second: The BEA kept the growth rate at 1.9%.
  • Final: The BEA received new data that showed consumer spending was higher than originally thought. It revised its estimate to 2.1%.

2015: 2.9% (Unchanged from 2018 and 2017 revision, 2.6% in 2016 revision, 2.4% in 2015 estimate)

Q1: 3.2% (was 3.3% in 2018 revision, 3.2% in 2017 revision, 2.0% in 2016 revision, 0.6% in July 2015 revision, -0.2% in 2015 estimate)

  • Advance: Thanks to winter storms, growth was just 0.2%. Consumer spending was just 1.9%. Business spending rose 2.0%, with commercial building down 23.1%, but offset with a 1.3% gain in housing construction. The strong dollar walloped exports, which fell 7.2%. Imports only rose 1.8%. Government spending fell 0.85, thanks to a 0.7% cutback in military spending and a 1.5% drop in state and local spending. 
  • Second: Just like the previous year, the economy contracted in the first quarter. The BEA revised the growth rate, indicating a 0.7% drop in U.S. output. New data came in showing that imports were higher than originally estimated.  
  • Third: Turns out the economy only shrank 0.2%. New data showed that exports were higher than originally thought.

Q2: 3.0% (was 3.3% in 2018 revision, 2.7% in 2017 revision, 2.6% in 2016 revision, 3.9% in 2015 estimate) 

  • Advance: The economy grew 2.3%. The largest driver was a 7.3% gain in consumer durable goods. Non-durable goods rose 3.6%, and spending on services rose 2.1%. These drove consumer spending up 2.9%. Business spending increased 0.3%. That's because of a 4.1% decline in equipment investment, and a 1.6% drop in commercial construction. Exports rose 5.3%, despite a strong dollar. Imports rose 3.5%. Government spending increased just 0.8%, thanks to a 1.1% drop in federal spending, including a 1.5% cutback in military spending.
  • Second: The BEA substantially revised the estimate up to 3.7%. Consumer purchases of durable goods rose 8.2% while non-durable goods rose 4.1%. Residential was up 7.8% while exports of goods rose 6.5%. Federal government spending was flat, thanks to a 0.4% decline in non-defense spending. 
  • Third: Consumer spending boosted growth to 3.9%, higher than previous estimates.

Q3: 1.3% (was 1.0% in 2018 revision, 2.7% in 2017 revision, 2.0 in 2016 revision, unchanged from 2015 estimate)

  • Advance: Growth was 1.5%. Commercial building, down 4.0%, was the biggest drag, and spending on business equipment fell 2.5%.  Military spending fell 1.4%. Exports only rose 1.9%, compared to 5.1% in the previous quarter. Both fell because of a strong dollar. A glut in oil inventories kept a lid on imports, which only rose 1.8%. Consumer spending remained strong, rising 3.2%. That was driven by a 6.7% increase in consumer durable goods, like automobiles, furniture, and appliances.
  • Second: The BEA revised the estimate upward to 2.1%. Business spending had only fallen 0.3%. That's because spending on equipment rose 9.5%. Homebuilding was also better than in the initial estimate, rising 7.3% vs.6.1%.  
  • Third: The BEA revised the estimate down a smidge, to 2.0%. Inventories were slightly less than originally thought.

Q4: 0.1% (was 0.4% in 2018 revision, 0.5% in 2017 revision, 0.9% in 2016 revision, 1.4% in 2015 estimate)

  • Advance: The economy grew 0.7%. Commercial construction fell 5.3%, and business spending on equipment fell 2.5%. Home building rose 8.1%, and consumer spending rose 2.2%. Exports declined 5.4% due to the strong dollar. Federal government military spending rose 3.6%. State and local government spending fell 0.6%.
  • Second: The BEA revised the estimate up to 1.0%. Additional data showed that businesses added more to inventory than originally thought. 
  • Third: Growth was 1.4%, better than expected. New data revealed that personal consumption expenditures rose more than originally estimated. 

2014: 2.5% (Unchanged from 2018 revision, 2.6% in 2017 revision, 2.4% in 2014 estimate)

Q1: -1.1% (-1.0 % in 2018 revision, 0.9 in 2017 revision, -1.2% in 2016 revision, -0.9% in 2015 revision, -2.1% in 2014 revision, -2.9% in 2014 estimate)

  • Advance - Scary-low growth of only 0.1%. Exports dropped 12% while business spending fell 6.1%. Most analysts blamed it on severe winter storms. 
  • Second: The economy contracted 1.0%, thanks to a massive downward revision in inventory. That partly makes sense, since stores bought too much inventory for what turned out to be a weak holiday season. However, business investment was down a whopping 11.7%, driven by a 7.5% downturn in commercial real estate, a 5% decline in housing, and a 3.1% drop in equipment. Exports fell 6%, the biggest decline in at least four years. The only good news is that personal consumption of services rose 4.3%. Many wondered if it signaled another recession. 
  • Third: More data revealed what many had feared. GDP fell by a whopping 2.9%, the biggest pull-back in five years. Another contraction like this and we are in a recession. Consumer spending grew just 1% while residential real estate investment fell 4.2%. Businesses drew down excess inventories, which subtracted 1.7% from growth.

Q2: 5.5% (5.1% in 2018 revision, 4.6% in 2017 revision, 4.0% in 2016 revision, 4.6% in both earlier estimates)

  • Advance: Most analysts don't believe the astounding 4.0% growth estimate, and expect it to be revised downward in the next two revisions. The BEA based it on a rebound in almost all areas from the severe downturn in the first quarter. The upturns were estimates in inventory investment, exports, and imports estimates. 
  • Second: The BEA revised the growth rate up to 4.2%. The uptick was due to better data that shows commercial real estate grew a bit more than the original estimate. Inventories did not increase as much.
  • Third: Growth was revised up to a whopping 4.6%, based on more complete data that came in during August. These areas include fixed investment, inventory, exports, and government spending.

Q3: 5.0% (4.9% in 2018 revision, 5.2% in 2017 revision, 5.0% in 2016 revision, 4.3% in 2015 revision, 5.0% in 2014 estimate)

  • Advance: There was a 3.6% increase in economic growth. However, it got a big boost from a 16% increase in defense orders. Exports also helped, rising 11%. It more than outweighed the 1.7% increase in imports. Boeing's August orders for commercial aircraft also contributed, sending durable goods up 7.2%. Last but not least, consumer spending on durable goods rose 7.2% as well. 
  • Second: The BEA revised growth to 3.9%, based on more current data. It showed that businesses didn't cut inventory as much as initially thought.
  • Third: The economy grew 5.0%, thanks to huge increases in military spending (16%), business equipment (11%), and personal consumption of durable goods, mostly autos (9.2%). 

Q4: 2.3% (1.9% in 2018 revision, 2.0% in 2017 revision, 2.3% in 2016 revision, 2.1% in 2015 revision, 2.2% in 2014 estimate)

  • Advance: The economy grew 2.6%. That was below estimates, but behind the headline was very positive news. Personal consumption expenditures rose 4.3%, the highest in four years. Business spending rose 7.4%, with gains in every segment except equipment (down 1.9%). Exports rose 2.8% but were offset by an 8.9% rise in imports, a 4-year high. The biggest drag was a 12.5% drop in military spending, which is to be expected after the 16% gain last quarter.  
  • Second: The BEA revised its growth estimate down, to 2.2%. Most of the revision came from a revision in business spending, which only rose 5.1%. Consumer spending was revised down to 4.2%.
  • Third: Growth estimates remained at 2.2%. Business spending was revised down to 4.7%. It was offset by a revision upwards of consumer spending, to 4.4%. Exports grew 4.5%, but this was more than offset by import growth of 10.4%. Federal government spending fell 7.3%, dragged down by a 12.2% cut in military spending. 

2013: 1.8% (1.7% in 2017 revision, 1.5% in 2015 revision, 2.2% in 2014 revision, 1.9% in 2013 estimate) 

Q1: 3.6% (2.8% in 2016 revision, 1.9% in 2015, 2.7% in 2014, 1.1% in 2013 revision, 1.8% in 2013) 

  • Advance: A solid 2.5% growth rate. The three main pistons of the economic engine contributed. First and foremost, housing construction solidly expanded in response to rising home prices and demand, something not seen in seven years. Second, consumer spending showed confidence. Third, farmers replenished their silos after the 2012 drought. 
  • Second: Estimate revised down only slightly to 2.4%. 
  • Third: The BEA lowered its estimate to 1.8%. Additional consumer spending data came in much lower than it initially thought. That was because cold weather in March dampened retail sales.

Q2: 0.5% (0.8% in 2016 revision, 1.1% in 2015, 1.8% in 2014,  2.5% in 2013)

  • Advance: Exports and housing drove 1.7% growth.
  • Second: Better export data revised growth up to 2.5%.
  • Third: Estimate remains at 2.5%. Growth was driven by exports and residential construction and occurred despite everything that Washington threw at it (sequestration and tax hikes). 

Q3: 3.2% (3.1% in 2016 revision, 3.0% in 2015, 4.5% in 2014, 4.1% in 2013)

  • Advance: 2.8% growth was because businesses stocked up on inventory. Consumer spending only increased 1.5%, the lowest in five years. This low rate of growth shows that most people aren't willing to spend a lot. It is confirmed by the slowdown in Halloween sales and projected softness for the Black Friday holiday shopping season. Most of the growth was from durable goods. Government spending rose only .2%, driven mostly by state and local governments. Sequestration slowed federal spending by 1.7%. While some of the cutbacks were in defense, down .7%, most were in non-defense, which fell 3.3%. It all happened before the government shutdown. Exports rose 4.5%, while imports rose just 1.9%. 
  • Second: The 3.6% growth rate was driven primarily by stores stocking up for the holiday shopping season, adding $16.5 billion, more than in the entire first half of the year. New home construction rose 14.6% while commercial construction increased 12.3%. Business spending on other equipment was actually down 3.7%, signaling low confidence.
  • Final: The 4.1% growth rate won't last. The boost was from stores stocking up on inventory for a retail season that disappointed. Consumer spending was sluggish, thanks to poor job growth.

Q4: 3.2% (4.0% in 2016 revision, 3.8% in 2015, 3.5% in 2014, 2.6% in 2013)

  • Advance: Healthy growth of 3.1% despite the government shutdown. Most of the consumer spending was for automobiles, washing machines and other big-ticket items financed by low-interest rate loans. Spending on these durable goods increased an astounding 5.9% in the fourth quarter. The stock market rose on the positive growth news, especially since the shutdown subtracted .3% growth in October. Another huge drag on growth was housing construction, which was down a whopping 9.8%. 
  • Second: Growth revised down to 2.4%. Personal consumption grew just 2.6%, instead of the first estimate of 3.3%. That is in keeping with the disappointing retail sales. Most of the decrease was from revised estimates for automobiles, washing machines, and other big-ticket items financed by low-interest rate loans. Spending on these durable goods only rose 2.5%, instead of the initial estimate of 5.9% in growth. Housing construction still showed an 8.7% decline.
  • Third: Revised up to 2.6% thanks to more complete data, which revealed that personal consumption rose 3.3%, (higher than last month's estimate of 2.6%. Construction remains a drag on growth. Housing construction was down 7.9%, while commercial construction fell 1.8%. That's not just because of cold weather—last year at this time, home building was up 19.8%, while commercial construction rose 17.6%.