Real GDP grew only 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014 according to the revised estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The original estimate of 2.6% was revised downward. The revised third quarter GDP growth rate was a robust 5%. On an annual basis real GDP continues to grow at a rate well below the long run trend rate of 3.2%. Real GDP increased 2.3% for all of 2014 compared with an increase of 2.2% in 2013. While the U.S. economy continues to improve slowly, the global economy is weak with Japan and most of Europe in recession.
First quarter real GDP in US grew 0.2%, well below the expected 1%, according to the initial estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This increase primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and private inventory investment, which were partly offset by negative contributions from exports, nonresidential fixed investment, and state and local government spending. Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) decreased 0.5% in the first quarter. This lack of growth pushed market expectations of a rate hike from mid-2015 to later in the year.