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U.S. Economy Rockets Ahead, GDP Increase is Highest in 19 Years

Press release from the issuing company

October 31, 2003 -- (WhatTheyThink.com) -- Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 7.2% in the third quarter of 2003, according to advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 3.3%. The jump in GDP beat forecasts, where economists expected 6% growth. The rise is the highest since 1984. The Bureau emphasized that the third-quarter "advance" estimates are based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision. The third-quarter "preliminary" estimates, based on more comprehensive data, will be released on November 25, 2003. The government said the major contributors to the increase were personal consumption expenditures, equipment and software, residential fixed investment, and exports. The contributions of these components were partly offset by a negative contribution from private inventory investment. In his Friday column at WhatTheyThink.com, Dr. Joe Webb said the number is subject to change but the news is still very good. “It will most likely be revised downward a little bit, but is still stunning even with a few tenths—or a whole point—shaved off. Weekly jobless claims were down by 5,000. Employment costs were up 1%, mainly the result of increased cost of benefits. The durable goods sector was the main cause of the GDP increase.” --- Premium Access Members at WhatTheyThink.com can view more analysis in Dr. Joe Webb’s weekly column on Friday, appropriately called “Fridays with Dr. Joe”.