Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.5% in the first quarter of 2013 (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Economists were predicting GDP growth north of 3%. Also, in the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 0.4%.
The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, exports, residential investment, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal government spending and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.